Definitions for coble
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small flat-bottomed fishing boat suitable for launching from a beach, found on the north-east coast of England and in Scotland.
Origin: From coble, from ceubal
a flat-floored fishing boat with a lug sail, and a drop rudder extending from two to four feet below the keel. It was originally used on the stormy coast of Yorkshire, England
Origin: [AS. cuopel; cf. W. ceubal skiff, ferryboat.]
The coble is a type of open traditional fishing boat which developed on the North East coast of England. The southern-most examples occur around Hull; the type extends to Burnmouth just across the Scottish border. The distinctive shape of the boat — flat-bottomed and high-bowed — arose to cope with the particular conditions prevalent in this area. Flat bottoms allowed launching from and landing upon shallow, sandy beaches; an advantage in this part of the coast where the wide bays and inlets provided little shelter from stormy weather. However, fishermen required high bows to sail in the dangerous North Sea and in particular to launch into the surf and to land on the beaches. The design contains relics of Norse influence, though in the main it shows Dutch origin. A Scottish version of the coble, much shallower and beamier than the English type, serves for salmon-fishing off beaches near Arbroath and Montrose in Angus. These cobles have a less refined construction than their southern counterparts. Ghillies employ a smaller, better-built version for fly fishing on Scottish rivers. Local boat-builders constructed the clinker-built cobles locally as required, without the use of plans. The craftsmanship on many boats gave them a long working life. They had a reputation as dangerous to sail for an inexperienced crew, but in the hands of experts could move both safely and speedily.
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