Water Craft boatbuilding comp winners 2009

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Nick Paull’s Hazy Days, winner of the ‘most professional’ category of the 2009 Water Craft boatbuilding competition. It was built to Steve Killing’s Prospector Canadian canoe. Click on the photos for much larger images

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Mike Wooldridge’s Puddle Duck, victor in the ‘home made boat most likely to encourage beginners’ category’. It was built to the Selway Fisher Drake sharpie plans

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Chris Waite’s ingenious and effective home designed rowing skiff Octavia, winner of the ‘most innovative home made boat’ section

This year’s Water Craft magazine amateur boatbuilding competition at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show was better than ever, despite the rain. Editor Pete Greenfield’s idea of opening up the competition by offering three categories of home made boats – most professional-looking, most likely to encourage beginners and most innovative – was clearly a big hit.

Hazy Days is undeniably very smart and won a tightly contested section, but I very much enjoyed seeing Puddle Duck, which chimed nicely with my view that people should be encouraged to feel that they can build small, simple and low cost boats that they can be proud of and which are effective on the water.

However, my favourite this year was Chris’s Octavia, which must count as one of the cleverest designs I’ve seen in a long time. Yes, those scraps of ply in the plastic bag are all that was left from the three sheets of plywood he used to make the boat, but that’s only the half of it – when Chris wants to transport it, the boat divides in two to fit in the back of his car, and when reassembled the undersides of the riggers include a system of pegs that neatly hold the boat together.

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2 thoughts on “Water Craft boatbuilding comp winners 2009”

  1. Beautiful boats. Really hope I can get over there one year to check out the show.

    I was wondering what the frame on the canoe Hazy Days was for: looks like it must take a cover of some kind, but is it to protect baggage on long trips or some kind of minimalist sleeping arrangement, or maybe either or both?

  2. G'day Gavin, I do like Octavia, just got #77 over here. Are there plans, or does the designer want some renumeration Iif I wish to build one? Has he a contact address or email?

    Busy as usual on the house. Painting complicated by an early heatwave, still hoping to be in for xmas!

    Jeff

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