A clinker-built open boat, about 8.5 metres (28 ft) in length, used in coastal water fisheries, particularly on the north-east coast of England, or for fishing and netting salmon in the mouths of rivers and in estuaries. The one used in coastal waters had a mast and lugsail, and occasionally a jib on a temporary bowsprit, and was usually fitted for three pairs of oars. A feature of the coastal coble was the rudder which extended 1.2 metres (4 ft) or more below the keel. The forefoot was also made slightly deeper than the keel, partly to balance the rudder and partly to give a better grip to windward. The particular design allowed the boat to be launched bows first from a beach, the deep forefoot helping to keep the coble straight and steady. The rudder was shipped when sufficient depth of water was reached. On landing on a beach the flared bows were always kept to seaward, and the boat was kept bows on to the waves as it was backed in with the oars, or brought in with the waves. It was in a coble that Grace Darling and her father rowed out to rescue the crew of the merchantman wrecked on the Farne Islands.
Subjects: Maritime History.