JUNO - Design Concept
Designed to closely resemble the iconic Thames sailing barges - often described as ‘the work horses of the East Coast’, thousands of which transported every kind of cargo to every East and South coast port, including the near continent channel ports, until the first half of the twentieth century.
JUNO’s steel hull, deck plating and close-centred hull frames are very heavy-duty throughout, with 12mm hull plating used for her flat bottom sections, thereby ensuring that she is not only immensely seaworthy, but also that she can dry out on hard uneven ground without fear of damage or distortion.
JUNO’s hull and deck was built by a small specialist shipyard at Gt. Yarmouth (George Prior Engineering Ltd) whose work was undertaken with immense care and attention and to exacting standards throughout. For example, all welds are continuous along the full length of each of the internal frames. The team building her worked closely with International Paints Ltd who monitored the application of the epoxy coatings on the steel as the construction of the vessel progressed.
Juno was outfitted in Charlie Ward's boatyard in Morston, beside Blakeney Harbour on the North Norfolk Coast. Charlie's boatyard was founded in 1969 and has built hundreds of traditional style vessels and is well known for developing and building the 'Norfolk' range of small yachts and day boats, including the Norfolk Urchin, Norfolk Oyster, Norfolk Gypsy and Norfolk Smuggler.
Wherever possible, many of the remarkable design details of the Thames barges, developed and refined over hundreds of years, have been incorporated into the design of JUNO. However, where modern equipment and materials are now available, they have been incorporated into JUNO’s specification, always ensuring that they don’t spoil the traditional appearance of the vessel at any point. In fact, almost everyone who sees JUNO comments that she’s a ‘lovely restoration’ …not realising that she is in fact a new build and a new design! A pleasing testimony to the fact that incorporating modern equipment into the vessel’s design has not compromised her traditional visual features in any way.
Whilst not designed specifically to carry cargo as the old barges were, JUNO’s hull lines are similar, but slightly refined, to ensure her sailing performance is optimised. This has been achieved by fining away the forward and aft sections to some extent to ensure a finer entry forward and cleaner water flow to both propellor and rudder aft.
JUNO’s steel and timbered aerofoiled lee boards ensure an impressive windward performance, with easy leeboard raising and lowering utilising electric winches.
The vessel can be sailed by two people, with a carefully designed sail plan dividing the sail area into manageable sizes. Mainsail hoisting is aided by the use of a powerful electric winch, and headsail reefing is made easier by roller reefing
Manoeuvring under power is impressively straightforward, thanks the powerful bow thruster installed. Not only does this help considerably in times of cross winds but also ensures steering with accuracy when going astern.
Bearing in mind that all the steelwork on JUNO has been fully protected with epoxy during her build, she has the best possible protection against rust thereby reducing annual maintenance.