Category Archives: Racing sailing craft

Classic Sailor on sailing in the Swale and the famous Swale Match

The latest edition of Classic Sailor magazine has a nice piece about last year’s Swale Match that provides a foretaste of this year’s event on the 29th July. The race is quite an event with 50 entrants in 2016.

It has a staggered start at 15-minute intervals including staysail barges, followed by bowsprit barges, gaff rigged yachts under the umbrella title ‘old gaffers’, smacks and bawleys, and what are called ‘bermudan classics’. There’s even a class for traditional power vessels, though they receive awards rather than racing.

The author seems to have have a very pleasant time aboard the staysail barge Orinoco, from which he seems to have admired other staysail barges such as Edme and Marjorie, Dan Tester’s gorgeous, Herreshof-built Starling Burgess 6-metre sloop Sheila and the Brightlingsea smack Alberta, which  was restored some time ago by Dan and his late father Barry Tester.

For photos of earlier Swale Matches, click here and here.

 

 

 

Australia’s 18-ft skiffs and 14 Footers

A little Australian moment, with links from Michael Storer’s always interesting Storer Boat Plans Facebook page.

First (above), a stunning, award-winning piece of 1970 film about Sydney Harbour’s 18ft skiffs. They have a great history – Joshua Slocum mentions seeing them at Sydney in his solo round the world account Sailing Alone Around the World.

And then there’s this article about  the history of Australia’s 14 Footers, a very different development from the Uffa Fox influenced International 14s that developed in the UK.

 

Anthony Mace fixes up an old Merlin Rocket

Anthony Mace runs a small Bristol-based business called Shipshape Boatbuilding & Woodwork from a workshop at Underfall Yard, Bristol, and also does mobile repairs and restoration work, and takes on bespoke commissions.

He set up in business around a year or so ago, after graduating from the Boatbuilding Academy at Lyme Regis in 2015, and prior to that worked as a designer and occasionally taught product design at the University of the West of England.

Anthony chose to retrain at the BBA after over a decade of sitting in front of the computer – he’d got into design because of a love of making things and decided it was time to get back in the workshop and work with his hands again.

I’ve had some interesting projects since I graduated including fixing a Maltese dysa, but I wanted to let you know about a recent project I’ve just finished:

‘The job was a restoration of a Merlin Rocket (no. 2480). I believe this boat was started sometime in the 70s (so the owner told me) and had never been completed. The owner had bought the boat as just a hull with some framing and the centreboard case, as well as a really interesting curved thwart.

‘I stripped the old varnish off, repaired the cracked transom (which had split) and buoyancy tank, before fitting new curved side and fore and aft deck framing in marine ply.

‘I also steamed and fitted a sapele cockpit combing, spinnaker chute and gunnels, as well as finished it in a mix of paint (outside), oil (to make maintenance of the hull interior more practical) and varnish (decks and combing).

‘The boat has now gone back to the south coast where the owner plans to rig it himself before getting it on the water this summer.

‘I’m always looking for similar projects and commissions.

 

‘All the best, Anthony Mace’

I’ve attached a couple of images of the boat before and after the work, but there are lots more of the work in progress on my Facebook page and Instagram.

Restoration of an early Merlin Rocket (no. 2480). This boat was started sometime in the 70's and had never been…

Posted by Shipshape Woodwork & Boatbuilding on Thursday, 26 January 2017