Tag Archives: varnish

Henwood & Dean 30th anniversary book

Head, Heart, Hand – a Boatbuilder’s Story (the link goes to an impressive collection of sample pages) is a beautiful book documenting the work of Thames-side traditional boat building firm Henwood & Dean, with photographs and design by Michael English.

The book is published to celebrate three decades of the Henwood & Dean boatyard – an event that is also marked by local newspaper the Henley Standard.

I’d guess that it would make a nice Christmas present for quite a few folks out there…

By the way, if like me you feel a little awed by the the varnished finishes the Henwood & Dean team achieve, you may be interested to know that Colin Henwood will be leading Boat Building Academy courses on renovation and finishing at Lyme Regis next year on the 18th-22nd February and 18th-22nd November (by coincidence the dates fall on the same dates each month).

Small motor launch Louise built by Nick Smith complete but for her varnish

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Hampshire-based boatbuilder Nick Smith wrote this week with photos of his current motor launch building project Louise. Here’s what he has to say:

Louise will be launched in the spring, as the owner will be doing the varnishing over the coming months. Normally I would be a bit reticent about this, but having seen my customer David Eschbaeschers’ varnish work and woodwork on his steam launch I was confident she would be finished to a high standard that would be as good as I would do it.

Louise to my eye has a more ‘motor dinghy’ look than the last project, Lisa, which is more ‘motor launch’ – the one foot difference in overall length has seen to that, together with the fact that Louise is narrower and has a flatter sheer.

‘I’m very pleased how she has come out and so are the owners, they will be dry sailing the boat and go all over the country’s rivers and estuaries through the season.

‘Thats it for now. After a break I will be starting a restoration job on a 15ft clinker launch my oppo found under an oak tree at Beaulieu. So will keep you posted on that one.

‘Nick’

Nick wrote again a couple of days later with a photo of Moiety, a boat he built 17 years ago.

Moiety’s owner has sent me these pictures of the boat at The Thames Traditional Boat Rally at Henley this year. I originally built and planked Moiety in 1992 and fitted her out six years later, so she was completed in 1996, so the hull is 17 years old but the completed boat only 13 years old. She is 16 foot 4 overall with a beam of six foot four, and a lot of boat for her length.’
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Moiety at this year’s Thames Traditional Boat Rally
Thanks Nick – I’m looking forward to hearing about the restoration job.

For more photos of Louise during her build click here.

For photos of the previous build Lisa click here.

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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Sunny skiff 14ft plywood flattie plans

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The Sunny skiff

Another evening, another boat. Here’s a set of fairly basic but functional plans for building a 14ft lightweight flattie, the Sunny skiff. Download them here.

I think they could be just what many people are likely to want – a boat big enough to be comfortable for an outing for two, small and lean enough to row reasonably well, and a good size for building in a small garage or shed. Like the Julie and Ella skiffs the drawings present a rather basic boat – one can build simply or add gingerbread such as beautifully varnished breasthooks and knees, gapped inwales and the rest at will.

Like this boat? Send your comments to gmatkin@gmail.com.

I’d better add my usual warnings. I am not a qualified boat designer and the Sunny skiff should be regarded as an experimental design. The designer of the Sunny skiff accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage that may occur during building this boat or in its use. You build it and use it at your own risk. The Sunny skiff is intended for use on flat sheltered water with no strong currents. It is not intended for use with outboard power.

If you do decide to build this boat please build a model first and send me photos of your model and the completed boat, together with a report on how the project goes and how the boat performs on the water. Whenever I am available, I will be very happy to provide help and advice if needed along the way; if I’m not around, the online forums can be very useful, but it often helps to search the archives before posting a question.

Finally please use the comment button to let me know what you think. This collection of elegantly simple skiffs with classic hullforms seem to me to have a lot to ‘recommend them. What developments, options etc would you look for, bearing in mind that these are not outboard skiffs?

PS – It’s become clear that depending on your build, some folks will find the thwart a little high – if that could be you, it will be a very simple job to make the seat lower if you do so at an early stage.

For more on the Sunny skiff, click here.

Looking for something smaller? See the Ella skiff.

Looking for something longer and faster? See the Julie skiff.

This boat is designed to be built using the stitch and glue technique – if you haven’t done this before you might be interested in my book Ultrasimple Boat Building: 17 Plywood Boats Anyone Can Build or one of the other books on this topic available from Amazon.

Restored 1943 type K Montagu whaler, good condition, for sale in London

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Montagu whaler Vancouver is now sold

Dick Wynne is selling his 27ft 6in type K Montagu whaler. I’m sure it has been a painful decision and it’s a damn shame for all those who have enjoyed crewing her, but no doubt two traditional boats like this is too much for one man!

This could be the offer of a lifetime for someone. Here’s what he says about the boat:

Vancouver is an ex-Royal Navy ship’s boat built in 1943 and lovingly restored and maintained over many years regardless of expense.

Construction is mahogany and larch on oak, with gunwales, thwarts etc in solid teak. She is probably the finest example of the type in existence. Her equipment includes:

- five matching 15ft spruce Admiralty oars plus many spares

- full sailing rig – lug main, jib and mizzen

- 6hp Mariner outboard on a lifting quarter bracket, with lock, and separate fuel tank mounted in sternsheets

- two bilge pumps

- ample buoyancy

- 12 x 150N automatic XM lifejackets with recharging kits

- two paddles for tight spots

- Admiralty pattern anchor

- mooring lines, fenders, full-length tent/cover

- nearly new four-wheel braked trailer with sealed hubs and brake flushing system

All her external paintwork was renewed in 2008, and all her exposed timber stripped of varnish and oiled (with Deks Olje #1 and #2) for ease of maintenance. Although of traditional timber construction, she is in superb condition and is easily maintained so. A faultless recent professional survey report is available to serious enquirers.

She is a robust, stable and versatile workhorse fully equipped for pulling, sailing and motoring in a variety of applications including raids, races, expeditions, pleasure trips under power, race/committee boat use, etc. She would make an excellent school or club boat.

Vancouver has plied the tidal Thames in London under oar and sail for the past few years, and is a regular in the annual Great River Race. She has been trailed farther afield to locations including the East Coast, Western Highlands, and Milford Haven, and attracts much attention wherever she goes. She is only reluctantly for sale as, rather improbably, she is my second boat and I can no longer find the time to do justice to two traditional wooden boats. She is currently lying afloat in London.’

For a pdf including more photos from last year click here, and for more on the boat and what he’s been doing with it, click here.

Also, if you’re curious about what his other boat might be, this photo and the knowledge that he’s a leading member of the Albert Strange Association will probably tell you all you need to know.

Complete with a full inventory including trailer, Dick is asking for £9,500 or offers. Call him on 07990 573160.

We don’t often see whalers, but for some photos of one I spotted in the Fal Estuary some time ago, click here.


Jamie Poynton and friends build a stitch-and-glue runabout

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Jamie Poynton and friends built this 14ft vee-bottomed stitch and glue
marine ply and epoxy runabout at the Boat Building Academy

Boat Building Academy principal Yvonne Green has sent us still more great photos from the Academy’s  student launch day in December, this time of a stitch and glue runabout built by Jamie Poynton and friends. Thanks again Yvonne!

Jamie lives in Axmouth, near Lyme Regis and for a while commuted weekly to Eel Pie Island in London to work with his grandad, who was renovating a 1950s tug.

City & Guilds awarded him a full bursary to enable him to join the course at the Boat Building Academy.  With help from fellow students Seb Evans and guitar maker Rob Murphy, Jamie built a  14ft vee-bottomed stitch and glue outboard runabout in marine ply, based on a V-shaped ski boat.

Yvonne calls this the Chanel boat because of it’s clean, simple look, posh laid mahogany deck and beautifully finished black and white paintwork, black carpet and white leatherette seating, and adds that the photo at the top (Jamie in the back, Rob and Seb in the front) sums up the atmosphere in their particular part of the workshop during the course.  ‘It was fantastic seeing them thrilled by their own achievement and looking cool on launch day’, she says.

The form of the boat was created by Academy instructor Mike Broome, who also designed Bob Hinks’s boat Cirrus. Jamie wanted to build a ski boat, so Mike produced a lines drawing (14ft  loa, 5ft 4in beam, 22 degrees deadrise, 12ft lwl). The bow was a conical development and the panel shapes were generated by first building a panel half model at 2in:1ft from modelling ply. The finished design in terms of deck layout and interior evolved as the boat was built.

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PS Don’t forget to ask for a pdf copy of the Academy’s prospectus for the coming year, as it makes interesting reading. Email Yvonne at office@boatbuildingacademy.com and I’m sure she’ll send you a copy.

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Nick Smith motor launch project Lisa out in the open at last

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Hampshire boatbuilder Nick Smith has just sent us his latest photos of the newly completed 17ft motor launch – here Lisa is on her trailer, waiting for her varnish to harden. Now she’s out of the workshop, it’s nice to finally see photos where the photographer can step back and get a much clearer and generally better view.

Nick has sent us quite a few photos of the Lisa project over the past few months showing many of the stages of this traditional clinker boat building project. If you’d like to see all our posts about his work, click here and scroll down the page.

If you don’t already know him, Nick comes from Devon 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. He can be contacted by email at nick_smith_boatbuilder@yahoo.com and by phone on phone on 07786 693370.

Traditional boatbuilder Nick Smith’s Lisa project nears launch day

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Latest Lisa photos. Click on the thumbnails for much larger images

As promised, Nick Smith has been in touch to report on progress building Lisa, a 17ft traditional West Country motor launch.

‘I should be delivering Lisa in a week or so, and then I will begin the build of another clinker motor launch. This time it will be a 16-footer, khaya on oak, varnished, with a 15hp Vetus diesel inboard. This boat will also be based on the River Yealm, at Newton Ferrers. Its good to be so busy especially at a time like this.

‘I’ll send some pictures of Lisa on the water.

‘Nick’

It’s a relief to hear that Nick’s still in demand in these tough times. Good for him – I’d like to think that intheboatshed.net has been a help but I’m sure the real reason is the sheer quality of his work.

Nick has sent us quite a few photos of the Lisa project over the past few weeks.  If you’d like to see all our posts about his work, click here and scroll down the page. If you don’t already know him, Nick comes from Devon 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. He can be contacted by email at nick_smith_boatbuilder@yahoo.com and by phone on 07786 693370.

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