Category Archives: Small boats

Fowey River Dinghies for sale

Red Kite

Fowey boat builder Marcus Lewis writes to say that two Fowey River Dinghies are currently up for sale – Red Kite (No. 55)  pictured above and No. 51.

No. 55 was built in 2009, and is planked in spruce, and comes with sails and cover. She has no trailer. There is the possibility of a handy mooring in the river. The dinghy needs sanding and re-varnishing all over: the asking price is £8,000 as is, or £9,000 all done.

No. 51 was built in 2004, and is planked in mahogany. She was recently stripped and revarnished throughout, and comes with sails, cover, trailer and the possibility of a convenient mooringat an asking price of £6,500.

Contact Marcus via his website.

Fowey River Dinghies are based on the Yachting World 15ft Knockabout designed by Reg Freeman, and were published by the magazine in the late 1940s.

A Fowey dentist asked a local boatyard to build him one, and then others followed. Some owners go for plain sails, but the majority now get the coloured pencils out and design a unique sail pattern.

The class holds racing on a regular basis. At Fowey Regatta last year, Marcus tells me, there were 23 dinghies entered. There have been 67 Fowey River Dinghies built to date, with around probably half that number surviving.

PS – When he wrote, Marcus included these photos of a 14ft rowing boat that he’s recently completed for a client. Thanks Marcus!

Arthur Beale’s talk: the history of Whitstable block and yacht fittings maker Barton Marine

RSJ Barton Ltd of Whitstable

The history of East Coast block makers Barton Marine of Whitstable is the subject of next month’s talk at Arthur Beale Yacht Chandlers in Shaftsbury Avenue, London, from 6:45pm on Thursday the 5th March 2015.

The talk is to be presented by  Barton Marine sales manager Christian Brewer.

Barton Marine is well known for making blocks. The company was established as RSJ Barton in 1948 by Whitstable shipwright and boat builder Ron Barton, who was was one of the first to use the fabric-based laminated plastic known as Tufnol, and also one of the first to use stainless steel to make blocks for yachting that were much lighter and stronger than previously achievable.

In the 1960s the introduction of glass reinforced plastic boats brought sailing to a larger audience, and demand for Barton’s lightweight and cost effective products continued to grow.

Ron realised that Tufnol was labour-intensive and therefore costly – so set about re-designing the entire Barton product range to become the first marine company to use a new plastic injection moulding process using revolutionary fibre glass-reinforced plastic materials.

It should prove to be a fascinating tale, and there are rumours that there may be some interesting East Coast marine engineers in the audience.

Book a place by emailing: talks@arthurbeale.co.uk

The entry fee is £5.00 – but you’ll get their money back if you make a shop purchase to the value of £15.00 or more. Attendees will also get a special discount voucher to use when purchasing Barton Products from Arthur Beale’s.

 

Video: Moth racing at London’s Welsh Harp, 1957

This is a great film from a piece of water where as a young man my father used to sail. And I just love the cannons!

My thanks to small boat designer and sailor Mik Storer for this one!