Tag Archives: motor

Doing silly things in a boat off Sheppey

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sheppey, lost, man, motor, boat, bbc, hampshire, insurance

Perhaps Sheppey can look a little like the Isle of Wight in some light conditions… or maybe not!

We’ve all done silly things in boats. I blush when I think of some of mine, and, naturally, hope that my wife, family and friends won’t tell the world about too many of them. But still I had to smile when I saw this story on the BBC site, thanks to Mouseboats Yahoogroup member Shawn Payment. Thanks Shawn!

I wonder whether he had any insurance? Somehow it seems unlikely.

To enable you to get a grip on this gentleman’s achievement, see this Googlemaps link; also see this shot found by fellow Mousequeteer Lew Clayman for a possible explanation.

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Nick Smith at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show

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A few more photos from this year’s Beale Park Thames Boat Show this year – this time showing some more photos of traditional boatbuilder Nick Smith’s motor launch build from earlier this year, Lisa, and a favourite I’ve seen him show several times, the small launch Bumble.

For more posts relating to the show click here; for more relating to the traditional West Country style boats that Nick builds including many shots of the building process with comments from the master himself, click here.

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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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Edwin Schoettle on catboats, Gavin Atkin on what’s wrong with yachts and yachties

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Legendary catboat Silent Maid

Edwin Schoettle’s classic Sailing Craft published in 1928 is a fabulous big old book of nearly 800 pages – so I hope no-one will mind me posting a few of them. And perhaps my post will serve to keep the memory alight.

I’d like to explain why I’ve been thinking about the catboat lately.

I’ve complained for years that many yachties  motor or motor sail for much of the time and I’ve often wondered what the reason might be. Well, I’ve come to think that it isn’t laziness or a dislike of sailing. The reason why they’re reluctant to use their full sailplan is that they’re either sailing alone, or effectively doing so, and don’t want the fag of having to manage sails, winches and sheets as well as steer, navigate and keep a look out.  And because they’re not using their full sail plan their boats are slow without the help of its engine – and that’s why most yachties motor for much of the time.

Looked at another way, it’s because we’re using the wrong rigs.  Instead of the Bermudan sloop with a masthead rig, big foresail, winches and the rest, we could be using rigs that reduce the number of essential control lines to very few – the cat and the cat yawl.

Of course there’s a shortage of cat yawls outside of a few designers offering plans for relatively small boats aimed at the amateur builders, so I’ve been considering the experiences people have had with the catboat.

I’ve no experience with these boats and have no firm opinions to offer, but it’s interesting that Schoettle emerges as such a fan of the catboat. I’m inclined to think a modified form of catboat, perhaps one with the kind of capacious hull that’s long been normal in family cruising boats could be seriously useful to yachtsmen in the era of expensive fuel and growing environmental awareness.

Those who find it difficult to swallow the idea of the Bermudan sloop being replaced by a more old fashioned rig might thinking about the argument in a different way – instead of describing the cat or cat yawl rig of the future as being derived from historical yacht types or workboats, just think of them as big Lasers with heavy keels.

Read more about Silent Maid in a recent post at the weblog 70.8%.

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