Tag Archives: small boat

Punt gunning – including an interesting description of the original double-ended Poole canoe

The original Poole canoe

It turns out that Poole Harbour’s famous Pool canoes were not always flat-bottomed skiffs developed for use with a small outboard motor – in their earlier versions they were double ended rowing boats used for wildfowling.

There’s some interesting history about punt gunning here, including some stuff about the dangers of dealing with all that recoil when your boat is light and tiny, and the gunner is likely on their own, and some slightly disturbing stuff about ‘droppers’ and ‘cripples’ and ‘your man’ collecting the spoils.

PS – Retronaut has some good gun punt images here

PPS – And there’s a striking illustration of the power of these guns here. And no, it’s still not something I’d want to do.

Bill Serjeant visits Oare Creek and Faversham

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I see from Bill’s Log that small boat cruiser and gentleman of the waves Bill Serjeant is spending a little time at Oare Creek and visiting Faversham, where he seems to be enjoying himself. Here’s his description of Oare Creek:

‘I alighted at the head of Oare Creek and ambled along the footpath where late Spring blossoms scented the air. I deeply breathed in and savoured the beauty of the countryside…

‘I was saddened to see so many forsaken yachts no longer cherished by their owners… but in between, snuggled into the mud awaiting the return of the tide there were the most glorious of sailing vessels, Thames barges and classic yachts of all kinds.’

He’s sailing a West Wight Potter these days – for many years he has taken a particular pleasure in changing boats regularly, often building the smaller ones himself. He has travelled over from Burnham and Leigh, hopes to make Ramsgate tomorrow before the wind rises later in the day. Great good luck Bill!

Veteran East Coast small boat sailor Charles Stock caught on video

 

Charles Stock making his customary good use of his wellies. Image copyright Tony Smith (aka Creeksailor) and used with permission

 

I’ve stumbled across a series of short Youtube videos featuring Charles Stock, a legend among small boat sailors, particularly on the Thames Estuary and East Coast of England.

An enthusiastic sailor since he was a kid, in 1963 Stock created a new cutter-rigged boat for himself using a 16ft Uffa Fox-designed hull made by Fairey and the rigging from an old half-decker he bought in 1948. The result was Shoal Waters, a small wooden boat in which he has sailed regularly ever since without an engine and without a tender – instead, he follows the tides, moors in shallow water and, if he wishes to do so, goes ashore in a pair of rubber wellie boots.

He’s kept meticulous logs and accounts ever since, travelled over 70,000 nautical miles in his boat, written countless articles, taught sailing and navigation to evening classes for decades and wrote an excellent book, Sailing Just for Fun: High Adventure on a Small Budget, which has sold well over 4000 copies.

He also has his own website: http://shoal-waters.moonfruit.com.

Here are the Youtube videos:

Charles Stock 1

Charles Stock 2

Charles Stock 3

Charles Stock 4

Charles Stock 5

Charles Stock 6

Charles Stock 7

Charles Stock 8

Charles Stock 9

Charles Stock 10

Charles Stock 11

Charles Stock 12

Charles Stock talks about choosing the hull for Shoal Waters

Youtube tends to encourage anonymity, so at this stage I don’t really know who recorded and put the clips – but his Youtube home page and extensive collection of videos are here: http://www.youtube.com/user/creeksailor

Creeksailor also has a weblog here: http://creeksailor.blogspot.com

More photos of Shoal Waters in action appear here: http://www.saileastcoast.co.uk/shoalwaters.htm

I’ve also pasted a photo below from Paul Mullings, who has this to say:

‘Hi Gav

As a young man sailing with my family on the magical East Coast rivers we often came across Charles Stock and Shoal Waters. It was a big thrill on a visit back to the Old Country last summer to see her looking as trim as ever – photo attached.

Sailing Just For Fun is also a terrific read and should be on all cruising sailors’ bookshelves.

Cheers, Paul’
Thanks Paul!
Shoal Waters, photographed last summer. Click on the photo for a larger image


Progress on the sailing version of the 12ft Ella skiff – free plans to come

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Ella skiff sailing progress 1

Ella skiff drawings – click on the image to see much more detail

I’ve been frantically working on the sailing version of the 12ft Ella skiff today – having broken my left ankle a couple of weeks ago, drawing this little boat has been a huge relief from the tedium of spending each day on the sofa. Of course it’s no consolation for losing much of the summer sailing season, but I hope I’m making the best of it!

Anyway, I thought I’d share today’s progress. As I think I’ve said before, this will be a lively little boat but I hope folks out there will find it appealing. The next  jobs, are to nest the panels and draw up the sail.

If you’re interested in this little boat, please email me at gmatkin@gmail.com or use the comment link below.

PS – The free plans for this boat are now here.

For free plans for the rowing version of this little boat, click here.

Ella skiff sailing progress 2 the sails

The sail