On this day in 1702, Samuel Nicks signed a receipt to Captain Bowre in respect of priming and painting the hull, decks and masts of the Duck yacht. The cost was £1/10/6 – the equivalent of about £230 today. The work had been completed the previous May.
The Duck was Thomas Bowrey’s boys’ toy. He had already owned her for twelve years and was to keep her for at least another six years. In 1698, he was to take the Duck on a six week trip to Flanders and Holland. At other times, he used her to visit a relative at Portsmouth and, probably, while he was writing his sailing directions for the Thames Estuary. During that period it appears that he took great care of his yacht, having her regularly maintained.
I like to think of him escaping from his business concerns by taking to the water on the Duck and remembering his years as a mariner in the East Indies from an early age.