Pembrookshire based Bill Dowell is clearly a devoted chap: he’s a man who enjoys restoring and maintaining clinker-built boats, and has a particular interest in Redwing sailing dinghies, designed by Uffa Fox for racing on the open sea.
The latest object of his attentions is Nanw, a strongly built 15ft rowing and outboard dinghy built at Penarth some decades ago, and which remained in the Pembrokeshire area.
Bill believes she was used in the making of the Robin Hood movie starring Russell Crowe, which included scenes shot at Freshwater West in Pembrokeshire during the summer of 2009.
He runs a weblog about his exploits with the small clinker hulls (which I intend to follow), and another about cruising his Finesse 24.
Life on board in winter. The birds keep you company…
‘Summer afloat is a glorious, expansive picnic. The entire river is my living space, into which friends ebb and flow with boats, music and wine. Earning a living still means long hours indoors of course, but apart from that there are light evenings, maintenance sessions on the boat, voyages to plan, dinghies to play around with, all sorts of shippy business going on. Above all else in the summer, there is light – abundant, endless, late and early, helpful daylight.
‘Winters are a different matter altogether… ‘
How often have you thought of living afloat? No doubt, like me, it was the thought of winter that put you off the idea – the cold, the condensation, the lack of shelter, the likely lack of near neighbours the fear of falling off the gangplank, and anxiety about emergencies with mooring lines on a cold and stormy night are all enough to worry a person.
So I was intrigued to read renowned maritime illustrator Claudia Myatt’s observations and advice on the subject. A lot of it seems to centre around keeping your firewood and your feet dry, and always having a torch. But she also argues for making the most of the situation rather than waiting for conditions to become perfect – which will often seem pretty remote in the depths of a wet, cold, windy and darki winter.
Mobile boat restorer, repairman and sailing instructor Simon Papendick’s weblog shows him restoring a Fox & Son of Ipswich motor launch originally built around the 1960s. See the photos here. To see earlier posts relating to Simon’s projects, go here and click through the ‘earlier posts’ links.