Category Archives: Designs and designers, boat plans,books of plans

Plans for boats, sailing yachts, motor yachts, rowing boats, sailing boats, dinghies, dories, canoes, skiffs, oars, sails – may be free or paid-for

BBA students build a glued clinker Christmas Wherry

Most of us, probably, have dreamed at some time of living by the sea and waking to the sound of waves on the shore. Thomasin Sage clearly has, and from December to February this year she was a live-in student at the Boat Building Academy on Monmouth Beach at Lyme Regis.

Before joining the 38-week boat building, maintenance and support course Thomasin spent a year living and working in Japan as part of her Japanese degree.

When her time as an undergraduate came to a close, she could no longer ignore the lure of boats, her need to work with wood and the sea and the day after graduating she went to the BBA for interview.

Thomasin said ‘It felt like coming home’. Her hope now is one day to open a boatyard and take traditional British boat building to Japan.

Thomasin chose to build a Christmas Wherry designed by Walter J Simmons of Maine, which is based on designs for Lincolnville wherries developed for the Atlantic salmon fishery in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

It has a flat keel so she can be beached easily and will stand upright when ashore, carries a 102sqft standing lugsail and can also be easily rowed.

The original plans were for a traditional clinker build but Thomasin opted for the lighter glued clinker method. Although easily sailed and rowed, the original design was not ideal for taking an outboard motor and Thomasin wanted the boat to be as versatile as possible, so overseen by Academy instructors Thomasin modified the design, reducing the steep angle (rake) of the transom so that it would take a motor.

During lofting, the Wherry’s lines were extended and slight alterations made to the rudder plan. The extra length should also make her slightly faster under sail.

Given the strong glued clinked build, further modifications could be made to reduce the weight and bulkiness of the gunwhale and inwhale, but when it came to the rowlock swellings the original chunkier measurements were used.

The boat’s bright finish shows the high level of aesthetic consideration that has gone into the detail and structural parts. The dark Khaya (West African mahogany) laminated frames have an elegant steamed oak thwart riser, with oak thwarts and black thwart knees and a walnut joggled transom. The spruce spar and spoon bladed oars were all also made on the course.

Assisting Thomasin on her student build of the Christmas Wherry were students Alfred Dalby from the UK and Stefanie Bielowski from Austria.

Alfie spent 10 years living in Costa Rica with his family, helping out with the family restaurant. He is an artist and is fascinated by the practical, craft element of boat building. He sees the course as the beginning of a lifelong relationship with boat building.

Stefanie was a project manager for an NGO in Vienna but, looking for a change, went on to sail and skipper cruising yachts around the world.

Thomasin is completing a trial period with a traditional boat yard on the Thames, Alfie is working at Lots Ait Boatyard, a London yard owned and run by BBA graduate John Watson, and  Stefanie began work at Spirit Yachts on the Monday after graduation.

 

The photographs are by Charlie Fawell, Emma Brice and Janine Cashin.

Save historic Albert Strange racer Tally-Ho!

1927 Fastnet winner and legendary Albert Strange-designed cutter yacht Tally Ho is in need of help.

She’s lying at Brookings Harbor, Oregon where the harbour authorities have decided that if she isn’t taken up by a new owner intent on bringing her back to life by June, she will be destroyed.

The aim of the Albert Strange Association is to bring her back to the UK for repair and restoration, and hopefully back to racing. Historic and beautiful as she is, she would be a wonderful project for someone with the right resources and interest.

Designed in 1909 and built for the owner of an early British Isles steam trawler fleet, she was built by Stow & Son of Shoreham for cruising in comfort while indulging in deep-sea fishing.

The yacht is said to have all the beauty associated with an Albert Strange design, but withthe power and seaworthiness of a pilot cutter. She won the 1927 Fastnet race in near storm conditions, and only two yachts of the whole fleet managed to complete the course. Read some terrific descriptions of the race.

See also the Save Tally Ho Facebook page and the Wikipedia and National Historic Ships entries for Tally Ho.

People feel strongly about this vessel. Here’s an appeal from the Council of American Maritime Museums.

PS – The magazine Classic Sailor has just published this nice piece about Tally Ho. Let’s hope there is good news soon.

Howard Rice, off down the Straits of Magellan in a 12ft boat…

Hmmm… Howard Rice is about to sail an 11ft 11in Scamp sailing boat south through the Strait of Magellan from Punta Arenas down to the remote Southwest Islands of Tierra del Fuego…

He’s supposed to be setting off today. Great, good luck to him!

I hope he won’t mind my borrowing some of his photos of the loading process.  He’ll be carrying three months’ food and who knows how much water, along with everything else.

The boat is designed by John Welsford: the main change to the original design that I can see is that he’s got a two-stick rig. Well you would want a very controllable rig going down to pennyweight sails, wouldn’t you?

Howard’s done this before, as his Wikipedia page shows – that time he rounded the Horn in a sailing canoe equipped with a storm sail measuring only 2sqft – this time he’s got a storm sail of 5sqft.

Follow his progress on John’s weblog, on Howard’s weblog,  Howard’s Facebook page, on the  Scamp Sailboat Facebook page and doubtless quite a few other places as well.

Read about Scamp and get plans here.

PSListen to this interview with Howard on Boat Radio.