Category Archives: Boatbuilders and restorers

Professional and amateur boat builders and restorers

The Purifier Yacht and Dinghy Company dinghy demo

Working in the Faversham Creek Trust’s Purifier Building, our pal Alan Thorne is making and selling two dinghies designed by Graham Byrnes of B&B Yacht Designs.

One of the dinghies made by Alan’s The Purifier Yacht and Dinghy Company is sweet little sharp-nosed job that sails and tows well, and divides in two and nests one half inside the other so that it can be stowed on board a larger yacht or transported easily. The other is a little pram tender that can sail, row and motor with an outboard. Why not take a look…

Nick Smith motor launch Mona Louise emerges glistening into the light

The pretty 16ft West Country-style motor launch Mona Louise has emerged from Salcombe-trained traditional boat builder Nick Smith’s workshop.

Intheboatshed.net has been following her progress  as she’s been built over the past few weeks.

He hasn’t got much more to say just now – after 1088 man-hours working on one boat and especially all that varnishing I’d guess he’s likely been near speechless for the last couple of daysHowever, Mona Louise will be on show at Wooden Boatbuilders Trade Association stand at the the Southampton International Boat Show, and no doubt he will be very pleased to talk with anyone interested in discussing the boat.

Fabian Bush builds a François Vivier Aber dinghy

I’ve just remembered that I haven’t yet shared these photos to share of Lodestar publisher Richard Wynne’s new sail and oar dinghy – so here they are.

It’s an example of the very appealing François Vivier-designed Aber built for Richard at Rowhedge  by Fabian Bush, who showed it at the Beale Park show last month.

Naturally, there was a bit of a party in and around Fabian’s yard on when she emerged into the light. Richard’s delighted with the boat I gather – that day he and Fabian took the little boat for a sail out past Mersea, and found that it both sails and rows like a dream. (It has two rowing positions.)

It’s striking to think that François designed this elegant and well developed looking boat as long ago as 1985.

There are more photos of examples of Abers built around the world here.

Michael Maloney’s film: The Apprentice – Making Life Work

Faversham film-maker Michael Maloney is passionate about the value of apprenticeships to young people, and believes they are vital to the economic and social future of Britain.

He points out that about a million of our young people are currently unemployed – a point that which contrasts sharply with the some of the claims we hear about the healthy state of our economy.

I particularly like the quotation from Griff Rhys-Jones visit to Faversham Creek Trust’s apprenticeships project at the Purifier Building in Faversham last year: ‘The reward is in what you do.

(It had better be – in the same short speech he also revealed that the boat cost him £70 to buy, that he had spent a further £500,000 on her over the next ten years – and that on putting it on the market more recently had been offered how much? You’ve guessed it – £70,000.)

This Youtube is a trailer for a longer and more in-depth film that Michael is making on the subject of apprenticeships.

Read more about Michael’s project here: http://www.cwideprods.co.uk/the-apprentice/

Ruel Parker writes about the Chesapeake Bay brogans

Brogan lines

I hadn’t heard about the log-built Chesapeake Bay brogan before, but I’m very struck by their beautiful lines and proportions. Of course I realise that the low sheerline isn’t there to make the boat attractive but to enable the oyster fishermen to reach the water to do their work, but still…

Read all about them in traditional boat author, historian, designer and boatbuilder Reuel Parker’s article on the Woodenboat magazine website. Here’s a sample:

‘I learned about brogans from MV Brewerton’s excellent book Chesapeake Bay Log Canoes and Bugeyes. While bugeyes were large—up to 80? on deck — the brogans were small — around 30? to 35? on deck. I wanted to design a modern version of the brogan—adapted for cold-molded construction for shoal-draft cruising — but didn’t get around to doing it until December of 2011.

Brogans were double-ended, beamy, of moderate displacement, and shoal-bodied with centerboards. They carried free-standing masts, very raked, with the mizzen raked markedly more than the main.

‘The only lines drawing I have ever found for a brogan came from Brewerton’s book (shown below). They show a very lovely, nearly symmetrical, easily-driven double-ended hull of excellent proportions.’

Handsome 16ft Nick Smith West Country motor launch for sale

Louise is for sale - she’s one of Salcombe-trained traditional boat builder Nick Smith’s traditional motor launches, and is fitted with an 11hp Vetus.

She’s four years old but has only been used for two seasons, and Nick says she’s immacculate and effectively as new. She’s lying in Devon and I think she would be a great boat for families, for picnicking, fishing, watching wildlife and so on.

If you’re interested, ring Nick on 07827 644223.

Scottish Traditional Boat Festival to see launch of youth training boatshed project

The boatshed, and photos from previous Scottish Traditional Boat Festivals at Portsoy

This year’s Scottish Traditional Boat Festival at Portsoy is to see the launch of a project to create a new home for Portsoy Organisation for Restoration and Training (PORT), an organisation that teaches youngsters traditional boat building and restoration skills.

PORT is to refurbish Portsoy’s 18th century boatshed, currently a derelict harbour building, and turn it into a community centre to teaches traditional skills and boat restoration.

The foundation stone for the revamped shed is to be laid during the annual festival, which takes place this coming weekend.

Festival vice chairman and PORT founder James Crombie says that in teaching traditional skills to young people PORT provides a bridge between the old and the new, and that the festival provides a particularly good platform for the launch of the project, not least because it includes the inaugural North Sea Ring meeting, which sees countries from around the North Sea come together to share maritime traditions.

The rebuilt boatshed will give the local community a spacious workshop that will allow work on boats to be undertaken in full view of the public.

The PORT training programme takes participants from the initial stages of boat building right through to learning to sail the boats they have helped to create – which no doubt brings something special to the trainees.

As well as providing an outlet for training and restoration it is hoped that the boatshed will become an attraction for visitors to the area.

PORT was given the boatshed by the Portsoy Maritime Heritage Society in 2009; the renovation is a £420,000 project funded by Aberdeenshire Council, CARS (a collaboration between Aberdeenshire Council and Historic Scotland) and AEFF Axis 4 funding.