While we’re on the subject of the River Colne, Win Cnoops and his colleagues at Star Yachts have recently been working on a boat built in the area.
Win says Wanderer II was built as an oyster smack right beside the Colne at Rowhedge 1901. Originally called Maude (CK489), in 1950 she was sold to the Pearson family and has been in their possesion ever since, and has been kept at Milford Haven.
She doesn’t appear in the Smackdock website’s list of known fishing smacks, but I guess she might be added at some point.
‘Wanderer II was in a bit of a state when she arrived: we had to cut down what was left of the keel and then added to it using the durable West African timber ekki, and replaced the stem that was in 13 bigger and smaller pieces. To hide a little hogging we put in a fair wale, and painted the bulwarks in the same colour – which, contrary to the theory, makes her look much sleeker as well.
‘We also took the steel floors out and replaced them with grown oak, and replaced 11 stanchions and a range of other hobs. The sternpost was not fastened to anything and could be moved by hand once the rudder heel fitting was off!
‘The cabin top is not the prettiest, the frames need doing and the under-deck is starting to go but for financial reasons they will have to wait for another time – but at least she is back on a solid foundation.’
This is Eskdale – the first example of a strip-built Bristol 27 motor cruiser built by Win Cnoops and colleagues at Star Yachts, and designed by Andrew Wolstenholme.
It has obviously been drawn and built with the intention of evoking a bygone age, but I think it’s a stylishly retro craft in any language.
As built she has port and starboard bunks, one of which converts to a double, lockers, a galley and separate heads, a small locker, aft of these is a small galley on one side, and a hanging locker on the other. Win is offering a variety of options for future boats, including a choice of 50hp engine offering a maximum of 12 knots and a 38hp offering 10 knots.
Win Cnoops of Star Yachts sent over these photos of the official launch of the Andrew Wolstenholme-designed Bristol 22 strip-built cabin motor launch his company is offering these days.
I think it’s a pretty thing and I hope it catches on – it’s not exactly old fashioned, but has some old fashioned ideas about it that make a handsome craft that serves to show how strange, angular and droopy-nosed motor boat design has become.
Among other things, it would make a very appropriate committee boat for an up-market yacht club looking for a bit of class rather than the usual plastic club-tub.
Combining features of a 1920s gentleman’s launch and a more sturdy harbour launch, the Bristol 22 has a narrow, easily-driven hull that requires needing only a relatively small engine – so much so that on a river or canal an all-electric version is practical. The layout of the boat provides for overnight or short holiday accommodation in the forward cuddy.
If you’re a Facebooker, why not ‘like’ the new Star Yachts Facebook page, where you’ll be able to follow the building of the 27ft version?