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So why is the Folkboat such a popular type? Classic Boat examines the question

Classic Boat on the Folkboat



Well, the Folkboat has Classic Boat’s Theo Rye convinced:

‘The freeboard looks perilously low, especially on the Nordic version, but the boat is remarkably dry even when pushed hard. The flare in the sections means the waterline beam when upright is modest enough for decent light-airs speed, but as the hull heels it rapidly gains stability; aided by a very healthy ballast ratio (well over 50 per cent in most versions), her stiffness is perfectly judged.

‘She is also tolerant of added weight; a good attribute in a pocket cruiser, especially one capable of crossing the Atlantic or even more, so even quite reasonably equipped boats look and sail perfectly well. The firm tuck of the bilges leading into nice, slim keel sections help generate good lift (in relative terms) from the long keel, which is a key to good sailing performance. The shape owes precious little to rating rules, only hydrodynamics; you pay for that bold forward overhang in accommodation or waterline length, maybe, but driving into any sort of sea you’ll be glad of that bargain. The slope of the transom stern tucks the rudder deep under the hull and the angle of the stern post, while typically Scandinavian, looks old-fashioned, even exaggerated; but time at the helm tells you exactly why they stuck with it.

‘The fractional sail plan is equally well judged; with her relatively modest displacement and wetted surface area (for the type), she can slip along just fine, but will carry her canvas well as the wind comes up.’

I’d certainly have one – though perhaps not where I sail!

My thanks to the excellent small boat designer, builder, sailor and sailmaker Mik Storer for spotting and sharing this one.

For more Intheboatshed.net posts about Folkboats, click here.

SS Robin – an update, and an illustrated article

SS Robin

Regular readers may remember some Intheboatshed.net posts a few years back explaining the preservation and re-purposing plans for the 1890-built SS Robin – the steam coaster that is said to be the oldest in the world and as significant as the Cutty Sark. Read about her here,  here and here.

Things have been a bit quiet, but an article about the SS Robin in the excellent Spitalfields Life weblog spotted by my pal Malcolm Woods reminded me about the project.

If you don’t know Spitalfields Life, do poke about among its pages. It’s a wonderful example of what a locally-focused weblog can be, and being based in an area boasting the docks and the Thames, many of its posts have a maritime dimension. It also benefits from being put together by a writer who can also take a photograph…

The news with SS Robin is that while the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), has agreed to provide £100,000 to complete essential deck conservation works to help conserve the SS Robin, it has not agreed to provide funds to complete works that would have allowed the SS Robin to open to the public as a heritage attraction.

However, the SS Robin Trust says it remains committed to finding the best outcome and will therefore apply for HLF funding aimed at to explore broader options for the steam coaster. This will make a purely heritage use less likely, it will enable the Trust to explore more commercial uses.

A fifth edition of Cruising Yachts Design and Performance by T Harrison Butler


In more good news from Lodestar Books… Dick Wynne’s fabulous imprint has released a fifth edition of the classic Cruising Yachts Design and Performance by metacentric theory protagonist and talented amateur yacht designer (and professional ophthalmologist) T Harrison Butler.

Dr Butler’s designs were built in numbers that ran into the hundreds a good number of which still grace our seas. Cruising Yachts is his design manifesto and first appeared in 1945—the year of his death.

The new edition has been produced in collaboration with the Harrison Butler Association, and is a complete re-setting of the original text, drawings and mono photographs, and documents in detail HB’s approach to the design and equipping of a yacht, an annotated catalogue of notable designs and a biographical portrait by the designer’s daughter, the late Joan Jardine-Brown (see a photo of Mrs Jardine-Brown in an earlier post).

There are also a modern gallery of colour photographs of the yachts, and a foreword by the late Ed Burnett, who was regarded as a foremost designer of modern yachts in the classic English idiom.

Old boats, traditional boats, boat building, restoration, the sea and the North Kent Coast – Gavin Atkin's weblog