Tag Archives: rowing dinghy

Will Stirling 9ft dinghy built in Galicia, North-West Spain

Luis phone pictures august 2013 193

Martin Scannall has built this smart example of Will Stirling’s 9ft dinghy. Here’s what he has to say about it:

‘What a joy the dinghy is. It rows like a dream, straight as an arrow and nearly as fast, is stable, can carry four adults with ease and tows well too. I have sent you a shot of her on a local beach, where rather than drive I rowed half a mile or so to a party, just for the pleasure of the thing.’

You can’t say that for many 9ft dinghies. For more information about the Stirling & Son 9ft dinghy plans, click here.

Martin has also been towing the dinghy behind his sailing cruiser Sauntress (I hope this is the correct boat – the Classic Boat link that comes up in Googleseems to be infected by something nasty at the moment so please be careful), and so keeps two long warps on the quarters of his boat.

‘The warps slipped over when I was not looking. As a result I had an unintended lesson in the effectiveness of towing warps in a following sea, which was remarkable.

‘They virtually stopped the yacht so we had to heave to to retrieve the warp, which turned out to be no easy matter. Lesson learned.’

It’s worth knowing for the rest of us, I’d guess.

I gather Sauntress is now 100 years old – and the photo below shows her with a new square sail.

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Stirling and Son deliver two very different 12ft rowing dinghies, and repair a hogged Tideway

 

Lead On (first photo) is a new pilot’s punt built for for Kindly Light, a Bristol Channel pilot cutter, was completed by Stirling and Son and delivered to her owner during March.

She was built to the owners specification’s following his extensive research into the pilot cutters‘ boats.

Here’s what Will has to say about her:

‘She is built to both tow well in a seaway and also to scull well, and has very flat floors midships to provide stability, a little hollow in the bow under the waterline so that she cleaves the water with full sections above the waterline to give her good reserve buoyancy forward. Aft, she has a shapely transom above the waterline to reduce drag to a minimum.

‘In an initial tests in Carrick Roads, when a 12-stone man stood on her gunwale only 6in of freeboard showed above the water.’

That stable shape is very clear in the photo.

The second shot above shows another new 12ft rowing dinghy that left the yard at the end of March. Destined for a lake in Sussex, this is a much finer boat for rowing on lakes and rivers, and is varnished with gold leaf scrollwork and cove line. Will remarks that it’s interesting that two 12ft rowing dinghies of similar beam can be so different.

A third 12ft dinghy – a Tideway general purpose sailing dinghy – came into the Stirlings yard for repairs recently. New sidedecks and foredeck were fitted, underwater repairs were carried out and the boat was completely refinished.

Will’s remarks about this boat include a useful little warning for owners of timber-built dinghies:

‘This Tideway had generally stood the test of time well but, like another dinghy we repaired earlier in the year, most of the damage requiring attention had been done by the trailer where she had sagged aft of the last trailer roller.

‘A good piece of money-saving advice for traditional dinghy owners who keep their boats on a trailer for long periods is to put some supporting blocks under the transom – it is better to risk causing a little extra rocker than have the boat hog.’

Thanks Will! Stirling and Son offers traditional yacht building and wooden boat repair, and is based at Tavistock, in Devon.

 

Stirling & Son take a clinker-built 14ft sailing dinghy to the Southampton Boat Show

Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull (1) Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull

Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull  Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull  Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull

Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull  Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull

This 14ft clinker-built sailing dinghy close to the main exit (and entrance) at the Southampton Boat Show will have been quite a relief for eyes suffering from shiny-white GRP-fatigue.

She was built by Stirling & Son, and is of mahogany on oak with copper and bronze fastenings. All fittings are bronze and yellow metal, including the centre-plate. The rigging is three strand buff polyester, and the sail is in Hayward’s Clipper canvas with tanned stitching and hand-sewn leather work. She is also varnished inside and out with Blakes products and has a gold-leaf inlaid cove line.

We were away during the show, but I gather Will Stirling and his small team also took a 12ft rowing dinghy built to the same specification, and were selling sets of plans and five postcards of boat building work that no doubt were taken by the same hands that took the shots above.

Stirling & Son is based in Tavistock, Devon and can be contacted via the website at www.stirlingandson.co.uk or by ‘phone on 01822 614259.

The proper proportion of salt in his veins that a British boy ought to have

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The sort of dinghy we’re told a boy should have. Now
that part seems fair enough!

Have you got the proper proportion of salt in your veins?

These days they say too much salt in your veins causes osmotic pressure leading to raised blood pressure, which leads ultimately to end-organ damage. But it wasn’t always like this, and certainly not when they were busy bringing up the breed that led men into the dreadful battles of World War 1.

I’ve been reading The Complete Yachtsman by B Heckstall-Smith and E Du Boulay, first published in 1912. Much of what it has to say is sensible and reasonable. For example, there’s a great section on the draftsmanship involved in yacht designing. All in all, I’m pleased I invested in a copy.

Nevertheless, there are some bits that bear all the hallmarks of 1912. Take this priceless paragraph on teaching a boy to row, for example:

‘If a boy is of the right sort, with the proper proportion of salt in his veins that a British boy ought to have, he will soon get to love his little craft and a steady development in his character and improvement in his health will be visible to all who know and watch him; for there is no sport in the world that brings out all that is best in a man like that of learning to use the sea for his playground; judgement, courage, and especially self-reliance, are learned there as they can be nowhere else. In all other branches of sport, when a lad or a man feels he has had enough of it he can generally retire. Not so at sea; if he should be caught out in a squall he must fight his way back himself, using his brain to set one force of nature against another to his advantage, and not until the fight is over, and the boat is safe in some shelteredwater, can he rest or retire. This is why the sea so often makes men of boys, and heroes of men.’

Can’t you just smell the tanned leather, liniment and pipe-smoke in that voice? Pass the port Heckstall-Smith, and damn and blast the foreigners.

Copies of The Complete Yachtsman may be obtainable via ABE Books – I’ve been told there are lots around in second-hand bookshops, but the one I have is the first I can recall having seen.

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