Category Archives: Restoration and repair

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.

Tally Ho has a new owner and a new future

The legendary Albert Strange designed 1927 Fastnet winner and cruising boat Tally Ho (see an earlier post here) has a new lease of life, thanks to the efforts of the Albert Strange Association, and to her new keeper, boat builder Leo Goolden originally from Bristol but now based in Washington State.

He has a website and weblog that many Intheboatshed.net readers might enjoy,  a Facebook page, and a YouTube account that already has a video of Tally Ho’s journey to  her new home (see above) and another of a visit he made before taking her on.

I’m in awe. I hope it works out beautifully, for both Leo and Tally Ho.

28ft historic wooden boat for sale (or free to someone who will move it quickly)

Fellow musician and boat nut Alan Lamb is looking for someone interested in taking on a Royal Navy launch – he has found that he will be unable to use it for his original purpose.

If you’re interested, email me at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll put you in touch.

The 28ft, 10ft beam double diagonal construction mahogany on oak launch comes with a 68hp diesel engine. The boat was originally the launch for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary salvage vessel Kinbrace. It was built in 1945 and saw service during the Suez Crisis in 1956 and with the UN in Somalia in 1994.

The mother ship was broken up in 2004 and the launch was used for mackerel fishing out of Pool Harbour for some years.

He bought partly as a piece of experimental archaeology: I had moved to a cottage on the banks of the upper Severn near Bridgnorth. Knowing that much larger boats used the river until about 1900 (although they often had to wait till the water was high enough) I intended to restore the boat and see if it was sometimes still possible to use a boat of this size on the river – the boat has a fairly shallow draft and a large engine.

However, as I have got to know the river better over the last few years I realised that the fish weirs that used to be common on the river increased the depth of the pools.These fish weirs and the barge gutters that bypassed them were crucial to the former navigation by large boats, so I had to abandon my plans.

The planking seems sound and in general it seems a strong boat but there is some rot at the top of some of the ribs. A poor quality plywood and fibreglass deck was added at some stage and this would need replacing as would the steel sheathing on the keel timber. When I bought the boat two years ago I was told that it floated and that the engine was in working order but I have not tested either of these claims. The engine is out of the boat at present

The boat is on blocks outside building eight, The Royal Ordnance depot, Weedon, Northants and can be viewed at any time. It has to be moved as soon as possible and in view of this any reasonable or even unreasonable offer will be accepted. The new owner would be responsible for moving the boat and should make their own enquiries about haulage costs, if necessary.