This drawing is part of a group of sketches of boats which were formerly all on one sheet (Tate D17762, D17764–D17766; Turner Bequest CCIII E, G–I).1 Finberg lists the present drawing and others in this group as possible studies for the Rivers of England watercolour The Mouth of the River Humber (Tate D18151; Turner Bequest CCVIII R).2
As in the previous drawing (Tate D17762, Turner Bequest CCIII E) Turner has sketched a barge on rough waters. The forms of the vessels resemble that of the Billy-boy in the Humber design referred to above.
There are inscriptions by Turner at the top left and running across the upper register of the drawing. Though these are almost completely indecipherable they may represent annotations or observations concerning subject matter or ideas regarding composition or colouring. The notes may also be quotations or Turner’s own prose.