Tag Archives: julie

Some boats at the Barton HBBR meet

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A traditional ‘Welsh woman’ style wherry burgee on a shed at Barton Turf
catches the evening sun. Click on the images for larger shots

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HBBR member Wayne Oliver’s boat built to Conrad Natzio’s Oystercatcher
design and fitted with deadeyes, shrouds and other entertaining features

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Chris Perkins perfect little Stangarra built to Iain Oughtred’s Stickleback plans
was deservedly very popular – here it is paddled by Ewan Ryan-Atkin and
HBBR member Peter Nobes

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Tim O’Connor’s Iain Oughtred designed Acorn skiff named Ardilla

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Mark Harvey sails his father’s Goat Island skiff built to plans from Michael Storer


Nearly two weeks ago now we finally met the Home Built Boat Rally folks at their annual meet at the Barton Turf Adventure Centre. The images above are just a small selection of photos – so I’m sorry if anyone’s upset at being left out!

I’ll say a little more about the Barton Centre in a moment, but first I’d like to talk about the HBBR and its members. I’ve been a member of its Yahoo Group and publicised its website and events almost since Alec Jordan of Jordan Boats first floated the idea, but life’s usual complications have prevented us from attending any of their events.

Having met the HBBR group, I’m glad to be able to report that in real life they turn out to be a jolly bunch whose members cover the spectrum that ranges from boating enthusiasts who happen to have made their own boat at one end to perfectionist boatbuilding enthusiasts who are only now getting into boating – or maybe never will. The HBBR is a broad church, but it’s also one that has fun.

Julie and I rolled up together with my two teenagers Ella and Ewan, played with the boats and took photos – and my kids enjoyed themselves so much that they want to attend again next year, even though teens are usually allergic to any groupĀ  made up mainly of blokes of their father’s age.

As I write many of the Home Built Boat Rally folks are currently making their way from Lechlade in Oxfordshire down to Pangbourne for the Beale Park Thames Boat Show. I hope the weather holds for them, and that their nights are reasonably comfortable!

On the Barton Turf Adventure Centre, I’d like to say that Ella and Ewan had a superb week’s sailing tuition on Barton Broad while we stayed in our caravan and tents on the site, and Julie and I alternately sailed and went sight-seeing. The fact that we could camp made the cost of the course affordable, and the Fishwick family who largely run the place couldn’t have been more kind and helpful during our stay.

As well as sailing tuition, the Barton Centre caters for groups involved in boating, ecology and nature study and it’s difficult to imagine a better place for these activities. It’s certainly an excellent base for small boat sailing. Click here to get to the BTAC website.

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Two happy teens: Ewan and Ella Ryan Atkin at the end of a busy
week’s sailing tuition at Barton Turf Adventure Centre

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We launch our Phil Bolger Auray punt

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Our new Auray punt tender on the lake behind Jim and Eileen’s house

We finally launched our new Phil Bolger-designed Auray punt tender with the help of our good friends Jim and Eileen Van Den Bos yesterday.

Thanks Jim and Eileen, and many thanks also for the dinner!

A collaborative effort between Julie, myself and Jim, it was made to plans included in an early chapter of his book Boats With an Open Mind, published by International Marine, and bearing in mind that tenders have hard lives, it is built using 3/8in marine ply rather than 1/4in material. DIY boat builders may also be interested to know that the oars we’re using are the ones described by R D Culler and by Jim Michalak, who has published plans for them online. I can confirm that they’re quite easy to make (though you’ll want a power planer) and work every bit as well as Jim says.

Bolger based his design on the Auray punt on a description by Claude Worth in his book Yacht Cruising, which was written in the early years of the 20th century. Worth, who observed fishermen’s boats when cruising the southern coast of Brittany thought that one particular type, which he dubbed the Auray punt, would make a good tender. Awareness of the boat type redoubled in the 1990s, when Bolger wrote about the type in Boats with an Open Mind and included his design.

One reason for Bolger’s interest in this type of boat no doubt arises from the fact that it is a traditional boat that conforms closely to his well known ‘seas of peas’ analogy relating to the design of chine boats – many of Bolger’s designs including the Micro and his flat-bottomed sharpies share the shape of the Auray punt in an elongated form.

So how does this little boat perform? On flat water with one person on board, I can say it feels light and effortless to row until it reaches hull speed on its short water line. Three-up it seems to reach its design displacement, at which it rows rather more steadily but is very well behaved. Two up, it does exactly what you’d expect with a sharply rockered hull form…

I think it will make a handsome tender, particularly if I remember to put something heavy near the bows whenever there’s someone in the stern.

The only caution I would offer is that if you find a copy of the book and decided to build the boat, make a model first!

For more on the Auray punt and Worth’s description at intheboatshed.net, click here.

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Just feet from our launch site, a moorhen resolutely sits on her floating nest made from reeds

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14ft flattie skiff Sunny – new free boat plans from Gavin Atkin in the making

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Sunny skiff – as usual, click on the thumbnail for a
larger and more useful image

We’ve worked hard this weekend, what with the shopping, the boat maintenance and the gardening. But in response to one or two requests, I did manage to find a few hours to start work drawing up a little 14ft skiff for those who find the Julie skiff too large and the 12ft Ella skiff too small.

Julie is my wife and Ella is my daughter, so this one’s named after my dear mother, Sunny – she was almost always known by this name, though the name on her birth certificate was the much more exotic Sunya.

Anyway, if you’re interested in a quick and simple stitch and glue flattie skiff in the style of the Ella and the Julie but at 14ft, keep your eyes on intheboatshed.net!

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