Category Archives: Boatbuilders and restorers

Professional and amateur boat builders and restorers

The Song of the Waterlily, set to music

Martin Newell’s increasingly acclaimed quartet poem The Song of the Waterlily – the building of a boat has been set to music and recorded by Martin and local band The Hosepipe Band, together with another poem Black Shuck, telling the story of an ancient ‘black dog’ legend.

The Song of the Waterlily describes the building and proving of a traditional Essex deep-sea fishing smack through the eyes of a young shipwright, who helps a master shipwright to construct the boat.

It follows the progress of the Waterlily, from launching and naming, her first regatta, and her first North Sea storm…

“I am The Keel, therefore the king,
For me, the adze and whetstone sing…
And hewn from woodland oak so tall,
Take precedence above you all.”

There’s a sample of the recording on the band page linked above.

Martin’s poem was inspired by the restoration of The Pioneer – a similar boat rebuilt at Brightlingsea by the Pioneer Sailing Trust, an organisation which takes on apprentices and trains them in boat-building skills.

A book of The Song of the Waterlily illustrated by artist James Dodds (see him talk about The Pioneer rebuilding here) is published by Jardine Press.

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Nick Smith 17ft carvel 7/8th inch Douglas fir on oak fishing and pleasure boat

You don’t see too many of these. West Country traditional boat builder Nick Smith is selling a new built 17ft carvel built launch fitted with a fully restored 10hp Bukh inboard – what he calls ‘a proper old thumper’.
He started building it from a 24ft, 36in log four years ago, but only completed a year and a half ago.
It’s an offer he’s unlikely to repeat – the centre line went together well enough, but once the planking started Nick realised that building in carvel even at this length and size wasn’t going to be an easy project. Really, he says, it needed two journeymen and was tough work on his own. From now on, it’ll be clinker all the way…
Due to a change in the original customer’s circumstances the boat hasn’t been afloat, but Nick has run the engine on the trailer, and has faired and repainted the topsides, which are still settling in.
The bilges have been filled for a few days so the planking has taken up.

See eBay for prices and details – but be quick, for the auction is only open for another day. 

Refurbished 12ft clinker Nick Smith-built launch for sale

This 12ft clinker-built motor launch is for sale by Salcombe trained traditional boatbuilder Nick Smith following a 183-hour refurb. Nick was an apprentice with Edgar Cove starting in 1976, so he’s part of of a long heritage and so is the boat…

The final picture above shows her on her launch at Cowes in February 1991. She has a trailer and a Stuart Turner engine, which has also been restored by an expert. Overall, he describes her as ‘splendid’ and possibly just right for pottering and picnicking on the Thames.

Buy her via eBay.