Category Archives: Modern boatbuilding

Modern and plywood boatbuilding and plans

Check the intheboatshed.net blogroll

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Ben Crawshaw’s beach at Tarragona in winter

The Invisible Workshop’s Ben Crawshaw has been taking striking photographs of the beach outside his Tarragona apartment

You may have noticed the Blogroll to the right of this post. It’s meant to be a list of friendly weblogs and websites relevant to intheboatshed.net readers. And that’s exactly what it is – some of them are very old friends indeed (aren’t they Chris?), and I find they’re well worth a look whenever I feel I’m missing the water.

So tonight I’d like to draw attention to some particular gems on the intheboatshed.net Blogroll .

Ben Crawshaw of The Invisible Workshop has been taking a series of strikingly beautiful photos of his local beach in winter. Even in Spain, it’s now too cold to use the water with any pleasure, so he’s now walking, watching the sea, photographing it and, no doubt, dreaming about the spring.

Albert Strange Association webmaster Dick Wynne has been busy putting up news items, drawings and photos relating to their hero and his very attractive designs. And some of the news has been very good indeed – it seems Blue Jay has new owners, who have become members of the ASA.

Chris Perkin’s weblog Bumble of Loch Dubh currently has just one very interesting post describing how he built his first two clinker ply dinghies. It’s long and interesting, particularly because his next boat, an award-winning Iain Oughtred Macgregor sailing canoe has become something of a legend. (For more on the Macgregor, follow this link.)

Rowing for Pleasure is Chris Partridge’s wide-ranging weblog. Check out his illuminating posts about the boats of Venice, his trip round the backside of Portsea Island, the important place of the name Snarley(y)ow, and a rather sweet photo of the young Chris at the oars of a Thames Skiff long ago.

He says ‘I’ve been looking through family photo albums and discovered this pic of me rowing stroke on the Upper Thames in 1960 with Dad at bow. The boat was a beautiful mahogany double skiff called Snarleyow. Somehow, I can’t remember a single day when it rained.’

Funny that – I too can confirm that it never rained when my dad took us out on the Thames. Dads were much cleverer in those days and I sometimes think it’s a shame my kids have to deal with someone much more Pooterish.

And now for something completely different. George in Michigan is building one of Matt Layden’s distinctive little sharpies and tells us all about it at Building an Enigma 460. Many of home boat builders are intrigued by Matt’s simple and inexpensive solo and two-person micro sailing cruisers, and by his amazing sailing feats, and I’m no exception. There are still precious few designs for boats of this kind.

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Some more photos of the Light Trow Onawind Blue, built by Ben Crawshaw

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Some more photos of the home-built Light Trow Onawind Blue, built by Ben Crawshaw

Some more photos of the home-built Light Trow Onawind Blue, built by Ben Crawshaw Some more photos of the home-built Light Trow Onawind Blue, built by Ben Crawshaw

Ben Crawshaw’s photos continue to make me very proud, and I’m delighted to know that he is so happy with the 14ft Light Trow rowing and sailing boat he built from my design.

The only problem I have is that with each post from him I find the urge to build one myself becomes stronger. I keep having to ask whether I really need eight boats (I think it would make eight – I try not to think about it), but at some point the answer will surely come back that I do, if it looks and performs as well as Onawind Blue.

Ben sails off a beach outside his family’s apartment in Tarragona, and his latest posts at his weblog The Invisible Workshop include a discussion (with videos) of his efforts to learn to handle his boat in surf, and a photoshoot. As he says, the long and lean boat copes pretty well even though the plans I made up included a warning that the boat is really meant for sheltered conditions.

I think it’s forgivable for a designer to be a little conservative in these matters, for I’d be mortified if anyone was injured or worse in a boat I designed. But on the other side of the argument, I always knew that part of the secret of this boat would be its fairly narrow form and in particular its narrow flat bottom – what it trades away is maximum carrying capacity, but what it gains is good handling under oars and in moderate waves, and of course an elegant, slippery hull. I think many of us would like a boat that fitted that description…

For the free plans and for more on the Light Trow:

http://intheboatshed.net/?s=trow

A William D Jackson period classic motor launch at the Svenson free plans website

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Sea Babe motor launch A William Jackson period classic at the Svenson website

Sea Babe motor launch A William Jackson period classic at the Svenson websiteSea Babe motor launch A William Jackson period classic at the Svenson website

The Sea Babe motor launch – a William D Jackson period classic motor launch at the Svenson free plans website

I just love the period features of this home-buildable little Jackson motor launch design- check out the broken sheerline, the dramatic tumblehome at the stern, and the laid deck, doubtless under a heavy layer of gleaming varnish.

http://www.svensons.com/boat/?p=CabinCruisers/SeaBabe