Tag Archives: pilot

Luke Powell’s Working Sail

Bristol Channel pilot cutter Amelie Rose built by Working Sail

Historian and writer Mike Smylie commented that I should see Luke Powell’s Working Sail website the other day – and he’s bang right. If your Monday morning needs a lift – and whose doesn’t? – I recommend you take a sneaky look as soon as you can.

While you’re there, check out the series of YouTube videos of the modern-built Bristol Channel pilot cutter Amelie Rose. But keep calm – if you’re in a public place, try to avoid exclaiming or singing too loudly or you may find people will start asking questions…

Four record-seeking rowers rescue downed pilot off the Irish coast

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‘The other guys thought I’d seen a seagull… ‘ This isn’t what you might normall expect from intheboatshed.net but I thought these rowers deserved special credit. Catch up with them at http://www.gbrow.com/

Please scroll down for:

* Plans for making a model of the 10ft double-ended McLachlan skiff
* Progress on the sailing version of the 12ft Ella skiff – free plans to come
* Griff Rhys-Jones falls out of a coracle and explains the disappearing salmon
* Mickey Mouse orders a boat kit
* King George the Fifth, the king who was first yachtsman in the land, and his
love for a boat
* Dr Strangelove goes gunning – H C Folkard’s scary wildfowling boats
* Johnny Tyson builds a 14ft Whitehall at the Boat Building Academy

Ex-Academy student wins scholarship to build a Dorset lerret by eye

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Dorset lerret photographed on the beach. Click on the image to go to the
excellent Burton Bradstock web pages including some interesting photos
of traditional boats

Former Boat Building Academy student, instructor and Cornish pilot gig builder Gail McGarva will be back in the workshops from September to build a traditional Dorset lerret by eye.

Gail has won a £13,500 Queen Elizabeth Scholarship for the project, which is to take place under the mentorship of Roy Gollop, one of the few remaining Dorset boat builders who build this way.

She worked as a qualified sign language interpreter, but after she decided to live on a boat in Bristol became seriously interested in boats and trained at the Boat Building Academy – her course boat Georgie McDonald was a replica of the oldest remaining Shetland boat constructed in 1882. She was also was named the 2005 British Marine Federation Trainee of the Year.

Gail went on to an apprenticeship in Ireland, became part of a team building an ‘Atlantic Challenge’ gig, before returning to Lyme Regis and the Boat Building Academy to work as an assistant instructor and project leader in the construction of Lyme’s first Cornish Pilot Gig. She is a member of the Wooden Boat Trade Association and is presently building a second gig for Lyme Regis rowers in a shed next to the Academy.

The scholarship for the lerret project comes from the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, which looks for well thought out projects that will contribute to the pool of talent in the UK and reflect excellence in British craftsmanship.

She will take the lines of a historic lerret currently lying in an old barn in Dorset, and then build a replica by eye over six months – I think it will be very interesting to learn how close the ‘by eye’ boat fits the lines at the end of the project!

PS – The Academy will also be exhibiting at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show this weekend. Principal Yvonne Green tells me that they’ve got a much larger tent this year and, because several students will be bringing boats, pontoon space as well.

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Marc Chivers and helpers build a 13ft clinker pilot punt

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Once again, Boat Building Academy principal Yvonne Green has sent us some more photos from the big student launch day at Lyme in December. Thanks Yvonne!

Marc Chivers was a manager with the NHS before he decided to change his life.

At the Boat Building Academy he built a 13ft traditional clinker pilot punt in larch on oak with a grown crook for a stem. She’s fastened with non-ferrous fastenings and bedded in a traditional manner, and the the lines were taken from a work of historical reference by Malcolm Darch.

Marc’s main helpers on the build were Seb Evans, who now wants to design and build traditional craft for a livingt, and Kevin Marshall, who is now working for T Nielsen & Co at Gloucester Docks.

By the way – I’ve just seen a pdf file of the Academy’s prospectus for the coming year, and I must say it makes very interesting reading. Email Yvonne at office@boatbuildingacademy.com and I’m sure she’ll send you a copy.

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Boxing Day at Rye Harbour

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Old beach boat at Rye Harbour. Click on the thumbnails for much
larger photographs

It’s almost a tradition in our house to take a trip down to Rye Harbour on Boxing Day, if the weather’s bright and clear – see this post from the same day last year. This time Julie’s cold and my injured right Achille’s heel prevented us walking very far, but I did manage to grab a few shots.

A nice bonus was that the pub has this photo including  singer, fisherman and ferryman Johnny Doughty on its wall. Johnny died in the mid-1980s,  but although the publican couldn’t say who was in the picture, I was pleased to find there were still people in the bar who remembered the old fella living in the hamlet and singing in the pub.

There are more photos of the old boy and the ferry, and a host of great images of local beach boats being used and built at the  Rye Harbour website – just enter the terms ‘Doughty’ and ‘boat’ in the search gizmo to find them.

Some time ago I put up a post some time ago explaining the story behind one of the songs most closely associated with Johnny, The Wreck of the Northfleet.

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Above left: the channel to the sea.  I suppose there’s not much call for pilotage
services when the tide’s low. Above right: the River Brede

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Motor launch at a boatyard near Rye. It’s interesting to compare this motor launch
with the one shown in this post

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Can anyone tell us something about this mysterious and interesting boat? Whoever designed it knew where a little extra standing room would cause the least harm to the boat’s sailing qualities

Pilot gig building video

Many of the pilot gigs being raced around the shores of the UK are the work of Ralph Bird. In this very nice BBC RealPlayer video, he talks about the gigs, his life as a gig builder and his plans for a busy retirement. Thanks go to Chris Rogers for letting me know about this one.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/videonation/gig_builder.shtml

For more on the Cornish Pilot Gig Association:
http://www.cpga.co.uk/index.html

The Wikipedia on pilot gigs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_pilot_gig

The boats of Working Sail

Working Sail’s designs are based on the lines of 19th century pilot cutters from the Isles of Scilly, a group of islands in Cornish waters lying at the entrance to the English and Bristol channel. They are said to make excellent yachts due to their excellent seaworthiness and sailing performance. In a way, the fact that pilot boats evolved these qualities should not be surprising: as pilot boats need to be very capable, weatherly and fast in order to make sure their pilot reaches the incoming ship before its rivals.

I’d just like to add that while Lulworth (next post down) makes my jaw drop, the boats of Working Sail below quicken my pulse much more. The boat below is Ezra.

For more from Working Sail:
http://www.workingsail.co.uk

Ezra, built by Working Sail