Category Archives: Boating, boats, ships and the sea

Julie skiffs at Faversham

The skiffs built by schoolchildren at Faversham got launched this weekend! (Click here to read about their building.)

The workshop builder explained about safety, the boats went in the water, the youngsters took turns to get to grips with using the oars, the designer got a turn in one of the, and his brother and wife Julie (after whom the design is named) had a go too.

I should explain that the plans for these boats are free and available from Intheboatshed.net. Well – that was all very good then!

By the way, the little boats are light and easy to handle out of the water and perform just as expected, with little wake and good directional stability – I’d say a little too much and will be arguing that a diagonal cut to the skeg near the stern might be a good idea.

Schoolchildren build two Julie skiffs at Faversham

A group of lucky schoolchildren have built two 16ft Julie skiffs at a Faversham Creek Trust boatcamp led by local boatbuilder Alan Thorne and assistant Malcolm Hazleton at the trust’s Purifier building.

The skiffs are to be launched at the town’s nautical festival around mid-day on the 23rd July. Naturally, Julie and I plan to be there!

See the free boat plans page in the tabs above to download the drawings etc to build this lightweight plywood flat bottomed skiff and two shorter versions at 14 and 12ft.

When I called by on Friday afternoon I met a small crowd of enthusiastic, engaged kids and a clutch of happy parents – and two cool looking boats, Santa Crews and Stormy.  Alan and Malcolm had done a good job, and the FCT’s boatcamp had been a success.

‘Have you had a good time?’ I asked.

‘Yes,’ the kids called back.

‘Would you do it again?’

‘Yes,’ they chorused.

A mother turned to me and said ‘My son’s always been a maker and now he’s decided he wants to be a boatbuilder.’

I think she must have been reasonably happy with the idea, as she did not add ‘but I think he should have a proper job as well’.

The following shots are Malcolm’s. Thanks fella!

Eyemouth museum boat and historic maritime items collection goes under the hammer

Auctioneer Sweeney Kincaid is selling the contents of the large Eyemouth World of Boats collection held at locations at Eyemouth, Cardiff and Lowestoft.  Be quick, for it closes 12 Noon on Wednesday 26th July.

The item are being sold under the instructions of the liquidators of Eyemouth International Sailing Craft Association Limited (Eisca), a Scottish registered charity.

It is a genuinely big sale, with some 270 boats from around the world including working boats from the UK and round the world (fancy buying a junk, sampan, a pearling dhow or an Azorean whaleboat?) classic racing dinghies, a currach, and a gorgeous North American Whitehall skiff. There really is some very interesting stuff here…

There’s also a photo archive, books and maritime ephemera. To get a sense of it and find items you might be interested in, see the online listing.

The collection started life at the Exeter Maritime Museum (ISCA) in 1968 and was added to during the time it was in the hands of Eisca.

Frankly, it’s a stunning collection – and I don’t think we’ve seen anything like it since Turk’s sold its collection of boats used for film and television work some years ago. Both sales underline the fragility of collections held in the private and voluntary domains – if things don’t go well, at any moment collections and material can be lost, including both the artefacts and the information about them.

The entire contents of Eisca locations throughout the UK will be auctioned individually, here online, closing online on Wednesday 26th July at 12 noon.