These boats were
quite widely sold in the early part of the 20th century and a number have
survived. They were produced by the Frank Sugg company of Liverpool and
sold by Gamages, Stevens's Model Dockyard and no doubt by other outlets
as well. They came in various sizes and are typically spoon bowed and cutter
rigged and all painted the same way, with black topsides and salmon below
the waterline. No documentary evidence of the company has been found, but
one example was found with a deck transfer which read 'Sugg. Liverpool,
Manchester, Leeds and London'. I had thought it very unlikely that the company
itself operated in all these places, but have been corrected.
These boats came in various sizes and are typically spoon bowed and cutter rigged and all painted the same way, with black topsides and salmon below the waterline. No documentary evidence of the company has been found, but one example was found with a deck transfer which read 'Sugg. Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and London'. I think it very unlikely that the company itself operated in all these places. At most, it may have meant that it had selling agents in each city. The two engravings are taken from the huge catalogue published as Gamages' Toy Bazaar, 1913 and show two styles then available from the department store. In the absence of any orther documentation, it is not possible to say whether the 'non-standard' hulls are earlier, or whether they overlapped woth the more familiar styles. Notice that the larger models have a topsail, with jackyards to extend it slightly further than the mast and gaff would carry it. The model would have been able to use this only in very light weather which would explain why most surviving examples have lost theirs.
There are a number of characteristics by which they may be identified. The original rig had double headsails and these were arranged as on a full size cutter, loose footed and overlapping, with twin sheets. This meant that the boat would not self tack and had to be adjusted each time she went about. It also meant that if she was headed, the boat would effectively lie to in the middle of the pond instead of sailing away on the opposite tack.
The deck eyes are typically made from fine black 'bug pins', hammered in and bent over to form a loop. The deck, which in the standard hull has a carved-in camber, is set into the hull to give a toe rail effect from the bow to the point where the set in deck ends at the beginning of the counter; from this point the toe rail tapers away to nothing.
Though the great majority of examples are
to the common pattern, the photo below shows a fleet that contains some
rarities, schooner and yawl rigged models as well a cutter; these are undoubtedly
in their original condition and this was their factory fit. Also of interest
is the straight stemmed hull which, despite some cutting about and the painting
of a name on the bow seems almost certain to be a Sugg boat. The style of
painting is identical to all the others I have seen. This is the only example
I know which has a straight stem and I wonder whether it was an earlier
style which was discontinued when the more familiar hull form was introduced
some time in the early years of the century.