Pioneer, the 1884 First class deep sea Essex smack was rescued from the West Mersea mud in 1998.

Once part of a fleet of about 150 Colchester registered deep sea smacks, she sailed all around the British Isles and North European waters dredging for deep sea oysters and scallops.  A trade described as the hardest and cruellest Essex man ever worked.

The 70ft hull has been totally restored and Glasgow Steel Nail Co supplied traditional bronze boat nails for use on the restoration.

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An old picture of the Pioneer

The remains rescued from the mud Restoration underway
Pictures by kind permission of The Pioneer Sailing Trust