All posts by Gavin Atkin

Three shots of the White Moth

After my post earlier, I couldn’t resist putting up some more wherry photos, this time from my own camera. The images are of the wherry White Moth, which is available for hire from the Norfolk Broads Yachting Co:
http://www.norfolk-broads.com/

White Moth

White Moth

White Moth

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A catalogue drops through the door sets me thinking about the summer

The Martham Boatbuilding & Development Catalogue dropped through my letterbox yesterday morning. I always enjoy it – I love the photos of the old-style Broads sailing and motor cruisers they hire, and I also like their keen hire prices! On this occasion, however, I was particularly pleased to see the Martham catalogue, as it performed the small miracle of taking my mind off the pain of an earlier tooth extraction. I was very grateful.

An interesting feature of the Martham yard is that it has a large indoor area that the company makes available for DIY boatbuilding and restoration. They’re happy to offer customers their advice when it’s sought, and they’ve got a sail-loft to boot – very useful if you happen to live in the area:
http://www.marthamboats.com

Another favourite is the Hunter’s Yard catalogue:
http://www.huntersyard.co.uk

Both companies produce catalogues that have better images than the ones they put on their websites. Still, even in the absence of a 1024-pixel wide shot you’ll quickly get the idea: most of these boats have been around for decades, and they have all the old-fashioned style one could ask for. Over time, I’ll put up some of my own photos. In the meantime, take a peek at these images I’ve found around the web:

Nice aerial shots of the Broads:
http://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/education/photo-gallery/aerial.html

Some excellent shots of wherries:
http://www.the-norfolk-broads.co.uk/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=28&Topic=6720

An Sgoth

I’m going to quote directly here – I can’t better the original, and it’s well worth reading here and in the original, linked below.

‘An Sgoth is a one-hour documentary film produced for BBC2 Scotland as part of their Gaelic service and was first broadcast in January 1995. The programme records the traditional boat building skills in the Hebrides, following the construction of a ‘sgoth’, from the felling of the timber to the launch of the finished boat. The project grew from the shared vision of John Murdo MacLeod, master boatbuilder, and Sam Maynard, Director of Eòlas, an independent film production company based in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.

‘The ‘sgoth niseach’ was the type of boat used in the Ness district on the north coast of Lewis, where there was a thriving cod and ling fishery during the latter decades of the 19th century. These clinker-built boats, the hull being constructed of overlapping planks, had an overall length of 33 feet; 21 feet on the keel with a curved rake on the bow and straight on the stern. The beam was 11’ 3”, the generous width necessary for buoyancy in the sea conditions in which they worked. The sgoths fished in the turbulent waters of the minches, between the isles and the mainland, and offshore to the north and west. They also took part in the annual gannet harvest, almost 30 miles out from their home ports of Ness and Skigersta. These were four-oared open craft, with four-sided sails (lug-sails) bent and suspended from a wooden yard, and whilst similar boats were built in Orkney, no area other than Ness had completely open boats of this size.’

For more on this project, and some striking photos:

http://www.scottisharts.org.uk/resources/publications/crafts/pdf/CRA4%20Glorious%20Obsession.pdf

There’s a nice shot of John Murdo Mcleod here:

http://www.hebrides.com/sea/john_murdo.htm

And a link to the An Sulaire Trust here:
http://www.ansulaire.com/

An Sulaire