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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.

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.

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