Tag Archives: building

Traditional steel Dutch dinghy and Forest & Stream skiff compared

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Dutch dinghy and steel-built Forest & Stream skiff

Over in Holland, Hans-Christian Rieck has taken these photos of a traditional steel-built Dutch dinghy of a type often used as tenders to steel-built barges and other craft. They’re strikingly curvaceous little boats, given that they’re made from plates of sheet steel, particularly when compared with the steel-built Forest & Stream skiff seen in the background.

The F&S skiff is being smoothed with filler prior to being painted and having its woodwork fitted. I will be fascinated to hear how this boat works – and I trust it does work well in steel, as it will presumably have a theoretical life time of 80 years or more. I’m pretty sure it will be fine, by the way – it’s clearly greatly scaled up from the 12ft ply dink I drew some ten years ago no, and that will no doubt compensate for the extra weight of the hull. I’d like to take a trip to see it once she’s in the water if that’s ok please Hans-Christian!

Hans-Christian’s workshop trains youngsters in the metalworking skills, and the steel dinghy belongs to the Graf Ship Association - it is destined to be cleaned and refinished.

Here are some earlier images of the F&S skiff, and of a ship, the Jantje ready to be transported to Nordhorn after being sandblasted and sprayed.

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Carriacou sloops on Youtube

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Reader Larry Henry got in touch the other day to alert me to this video on YouTube promoting photographer Alexis Andrews’ two books (volumes I and II) celebrating the Carriacou sloops of Dominica. By January I expect to watch this daily, just wishing I could be anywhere that’s warm and bathed in the colours of summer!

One word of warning though – when I do watch it next it will be with the sound turned down. There are lots of videos on YouTube of the locals playing local music that I have to say is much more to my taste.

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Small motor launch Louise built by Nick Smith complete but for her varnish

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Hampshire-based boatbuilder Nick Smith wrote this week with photos of his current motor launch building project Louise. Here’s what he has to say:

Louise will be launched in the spring, as the owner will be doing the varnishing over the coming months. Normally I would be a bit reticent about this, but having seen my customer David Eschbaeschers’ varnish work and woodwork on his steam launch I was confident she would be finished to a high standard that would be as good as I would do it.

Louise to my eye has a more ‘motor dinghy’ look than the last project, Lisa, which is more ‘motor launch’ – the one foot difference in overall length has seen to that, together with the fact that Louise is narrower and has a flatter sheer.

‘I’m very pleased how she has come out and so are the owners, they will be dry sailing the boat and go all over the country’s rivers and estuaries through the season.

‘Thats it for now. After a break I will be starting a restoration job on a 15ft clinker launch my oppo found under an oak tree at Beaulieu. So will keep you posted on that one.

‘Nick’

Nick wrote again a couple of days later with a photo of Moiety, a boat he built 17 years ago.

Moiety’s owner has sent me these pictures of the boat at The Thames Traditional Boat Rally at Henley this year. I originally built and planked Moiety in 1992 and fitted her out six years later, so she was completed in 1996, so the hull is 17 years old but the completed boat only 13 years old. She is 16 foot 4 overall with a beam of six foot four, and a lot of boat for her length.’
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Moiety at this year’s Thames Traditional Boat Rally
Thanks Nick – I’m looking forward to hearing about the restoration job.

For more photos of Louise during her build click here.

For photos of the previous build Lisa click here.

Nick comes from Devon, learned boatbuilding the traditional way and specialises in new builds in clinker and carvel for sail, motor and rowing power from 8ft to 28ft with a special emphasis on West Country style and design, and also takes on repairs and refits from 25ft to 50ft. These days he’s based in Hampshire, and can be contacted by email at nick_smith_boatbuilder@yahoo.com and by phone on phone on 07786 693370.

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Progress on the sailing version of the 12ft Ella skiff – free plans to come

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Ella skiff sailing progress 1

Ella skiff drawings – click on the image to see much more detail

I’ve been frantically working on the sailing version of the 12ft Ella skiff today – having broken my left ankle a couple of weeks ago, drawing this little boat has been a huge relief from the tedium of spending each day on the sofa. Of course it’s no consolation for losing much of the summer sailing season, but I hope I’m making the best of it!

Anyway, I thought I’d share today’s progress. As I think I’ve said before, this will be a lively little boat but I hope folks out there will find it appealing. The next  jobs, are to nest the panels and draw up the sail.

If you’re interested in this little boat, please email me at gmatkin@gmail.com or use the comment link below.

PS – The free plans for this boat are now here.

For free plans for the rowing version of this little boat, click here.

Ella skiff sailing progress 2 the sails

The sail

Paul McGuire’s models of the Julie skiff

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Model compare port

Model bow Model stern

It’s always nice to hear of people’s interest in building one of my designs, and very pleasing too when they go so far as to make a model. So I’m delighted Paul McGuire has made two of the Julie skiff rowing skiff – the first is the standard A4/letter paper size you’d get from a normal domestic printer, and the second he made by blowing the original download up so he could use a bigger piece of card.

Thanks Paul! Has anyone else made either a model or the real thing? We’d very much like to hear from you at gmatkin@gmail.com.

For more on the Julie skiff:
Sketches for a sailing 15ft Julie skiff

Complete free plans package for the intheboatshed.net flat-bottomed 15ft 6in skiff
Not forgetting the smaller versions:
Free plans for the intheboatshed.net Ella skiff now online and available to download
Sunny skiff 14ft plywood flattie plans

These boats are designed to be built using the stitch and glue technique – if you haven’t done this before you might be interested in my book Ultrasimple Boat Building: 17 Plywood Boats Anyone Can Build Sunny skiff 14ft plywood flattie plans or one of the other books on this topic available from Amazon Sunny skiff 14ft plywood flattie plans.

Thames Traditional Boat Rally in photos

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I won’t be able to make the Thames Traditional Boat Rally this weekend but I’d like to make it one day – and no doubt Julie would love what looks like a rather genteel event.

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying this fabulous gallery of photos. I recommend you just hit the ‘play’ button at the top right of the page and watch the boats go by for a few minutes.

Chris Perkins’ photos from sunny Portsoy 2009

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Saturday, Portsoy 2009. Not really a day for a race! As usual,
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Award-winning lapstrake boat builder and Iain Oughtred boat plan specialist Chris Perkins has written to tell us a little about this year’s Scottish Traditional Boat Festival at Portsoy, and to share some of his photos. If you enjoy these, there are lots more at his weblog Strathkanchris’s Little World.

‘A few snaps for you from a very sultry Scottish Trad Boat Fest. Went to the seminar on Thursday. The session with the Swedish boatbuilders, the Ravinis brothers, was brilliant and I would have liked more, Iain Oughtred’s talk was enjoyable if a bit rushed, and  our American visitor Bob Walser on shanties was enjoyable – he has a good voice. I’m afraid that for me the history of the clippers, although well presented, wasn’t of great interest – they are far too big! Unfortunately I had to leave before Nigel Irens talk.

‘Saturday was a magical day. We were up at 05:30 so we could make the three-hour drive over in plenty of time to see the boats away. Lots of boats, bright skies and very little wind so the race turned into a bit of a drift around on glassy water – but the consolation was that the light was pretty darned good and created some good shots – well I like to think so!

‘It was an event that I think you and Julie would have hugely enjoyed. As always there was far to much to see and hear in the one day, one of these days I will take a boat over and ”do” the weekend properly.

Well Chris, it sounds irresistable. I’ll talk with Julie about 2010… Thanks for the photos!

I should add that Chris is a leading light of the Home Built Boat Rally group of British-based home boat builders.

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