Keith Bowers launched his 15ft Prospector Ranger into the water at the Boat Building Academy’s latest launch day in Dedcember.
He used plans published in Moores’ book ‘Canoecraft’, but added a breasthook of his own design and a yoke. He also created two kneeling seats which can be placed anywhere within the canoe to suit the paddler.
Originally from Wales, Keith named the canoe is named Y Ddraig, the Welsh for dragon.
Keith worked in a variety of roles before joining the BBA, including working as a labourer, a bar supervisor and most recently a support officer for Worcestershire County Council – he has a BSc in computer studies.
Now, however, he is to take his new skills to the Underfall Boatyard in Bristol, which is named after a set of underfall sluices created by Isambard Kingdom Brunel to control water levels in Bristol Harbour in 1832.
The yard is a scheduled monument and includes several listed buildings.
In his spare time Keith will work on projects at his home workshop – initially building a traditional clinker dinghy and taking Y Ddraig on the river Avon and Chew Valley lake, which is a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a national centre for bird watching, and is near where he lives.
This mouth-watering photo taken at sunrise on Surlingham Broad in Norfolk by amateur photographer Fraser Johnston has won the UK National Parks‘ Actively Yours photography competition sponsored by sportswear manufacturer Merrell.
The photo was chosen from a field of 334 entries by judges including adventurer and TV presenter Ben Fogle.
The judges were asked to look for people being active in one of the 15 National Parks. Mr Johnston’s prize takes the form of footwear from the company’s spring and summer 2013 range.
Mr Fogle described the photo as breathtakingly beautiful and said that like the National Parks, canoeing is accessible to everyone.
The Beale Park Boat Show runs from this Friday to Sunday (7th – 9th June, 2013) at Lower Basildon in Berkshire.
The organisers say that this year’s event is looking good – exhibitor bookings are strong, there new attractions and visitor numbers are expected to be increased as children are now admitted free when accompanied by a full-paying adult.
The show is well known for its traditionally built craft, the Watercraft magazine competition for amateur boatbuilders and its race small boats powered by various cordless tools. There are also displays and demonstrations, free boat trips (subject to availability), and a ‘try a boat’ scheme operated by exhibitors and children’s activities.
The Historical Maritime Society will this year take to the show’s seven acre lake in a 23ft full-size replica of a frigate’s launch to perform evolutions under oars and sail.
On dry land, the re-enactors will return to their marquee to explain aspects of life at sea for the officers and men, and for the ladies at home; who will also be present at the show telling historical tales of what life was like back then.Visitors will have the chance to learn how crews were fed, what they drank, how ship to ship signalling worked and much more.
The Society also plans to show a WWII four-man commando canoe.
I hoping to make it along on the Friday – if I make it, I will certainly call on Lodestar Books publishers of new and neglected nautical writing, the Boat Building Academy, and the International Boatbuilding Training College.