Rye Harbour Image Library | Picture

Picture No:51
Courtesy of:Barry Yates
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Caption on photo says "Three Brothers".
Any ideas?
Picture Added on 17 March 2006.


The last Sailing Trawler in Rye: From a book I have 'Sailing Trawlers' this is indeed 'Three Brothers'. She was the last trawler in Rye to work under sail. She was built in Rye by G & T Smith and launched on 15th July 1896 and was still around in 1946 when the book's author saw her in a mud berth in Smith's yard. She was 58ft 9in LOA and the book has line plans of her and all her dimensions as well as two other picures of her in Rye. The book also has 9 other pictures of boat building at Rye.
Added by Gary Palmer on 19 August 2007.
From Gordon Downey. The three brothers were all Downey's, Bill was my Grandad. They owned and fished it. Grandad then bought the "Sparkling Foam" and carried on fishing with my Father "Stan".
Added by Gordon@surfree.co.uk on 26 August 2007.
I was about 12 years old when she belonged to Helen and Joss Van der Shriek. Helen had inherited her some time in the early 1950's and Joss sailed her from Cork back to Rye. She leaked like a sieve and they pumped all the way to Falmouth to keep her afloat I spent a few holidays working with helen and Joss scrubbing sanding varnishing. I have many memories of those days, my first lessons in the wonderfull world of boats. I don't know what happened to her after Helen & Joss sold her. For many years there was a model of the Three Brothers in the Parkstone Yacht club bar (Poole UK). I'd love to hear from anyone else who knows any history as I'm about to build a model of her with the San Francisco maritime Museum Model Shipwrights.
Added by Paul Boot on 30 May 2011.
I'm trying to contact Gary Palmer. I am wanting to build a model of the Three Brothers as I am now a Model Shipwright at the San Francisco Maritme Museum. Any help you can give in locating her or the book you mention in your comment would be most useful -
Added by Paul Boot on 02 June 2012.
My father is looking to make a model of Three Brothers based on the plans by Harold Underhill which I've been scaling down for him.
As we have friends in Rye, I tried to find out if she was still there, and could be visited and photographed to supplement the plans. I made enquires with the harbour master, but he had no record of a current vessel being registered by that name. Going for the archive angle, I then contact the Director of Rye Castle Museum, Mrs. Jo Kirkham, and she informed me that she has a note on file that the Three Brothers was last owned in Ireland; and was sadly wrecked in 1962 and became a total loss.

So, if you're looking for details, Mr. Underhill's plans are as good as it gets!
He did the country a good service by recording so many historic vessels before they were lost forever.
You can obtain copies of the plans from the Model Dockyard, in Turo, Cornwall - They do sell via the web, which is where I got mine.
Happy modelling!

Added by Paul Cattermole on 28 March 2013.
There is a model of this ship on display in the Hastings Fisherman's Museum. I was there in August 2014.I took a picture but didn't note down any further details.
Added by Jur Snijder on 20 December 2014.
I own a model of three brothers RX 153. Which I have just inherited Covered in thick dust, I am now cleaning, the sails are in a bad way, and rigging rotten I want to get her tidy then take some photos of her.
Added by Bob Hytche on 13 February 2015.
I am selling a model of the three brothers which im putting on ebay uk tonight 22/04/2015
Added by Roger on 22 April 2015.
The Three Brothers was built in 1896 which is 26 years before Bert Downey bought her in 1922. Are you sure it was named after the Downey brothers?
Added by Dave Pepper on 05 September 2021.
The Three Brothers was built in 1896 which is 26 years before Bert Downey bought her in 1922. Are you sure it was named after the Downey brothers?
Added by Dave Pepper on 05 September 2021.
On the RX register is a possible previous Three Brothers, also RX 153, built in Truro 1847. :sites.google.com/site/ukboatsgycouk/rye-registered-boats
I remember a lady in Rye who told me her grandfather owned Three Brothers, so I guess he was a Downey.

Added by John Shepperd on 22 October 2021.

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