Wooden boat day at Bewl Valley Sailing Club


Jim Vandenbos with a well deserved special award
for bloody-mindedness in racing his sailing canoe
in a Force 5 wind

Like most sailing clubs, the club we belong to focuses strongly on racing modern boats. No doubt the racers have a lot of fun, and without them the club would have no officers to run it.

But this concentration on racing and modernity leads, as always, to great conformity, with fleets of practically identical boats. (Historians of boating say that one of the great examples of how racing leads to conformity is the development and improvement of the Thames barge through the latter half of the 19th century, by the way.)

Bewl Valley Sailing Club nevertheless has a small band of eccentrics who don’t quite fit the stereotype, either because they cruise and won’t race; choose to sail old class dinghies from the days when they were typically built from plywood; are weekend craftsmen, some of whom build their own traditional boats with great skill and care while others build in plywood and epoxy; and a very few both design and build.

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Read more on this and check the photos:

We all get together for a day once a year when Ian Duffil organises an annual wooden boat day. That day was yesterday – so I thought I should put up some of the photos that Julie and I managed to take.



Terry Burton’s trimaran

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Jim’s canoe

See the rest of this post:


Avon Scow, Ian Duffil’s very nice clinker-built dinghy

John Fielding’s Lune Longboat, with a Lune Post Boat and a Drascombe in the background

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Norfolk Scoltie


A Cornish-built GRP gaffer

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2 thoughts on “Wooden boat day at Bewl Valley Sailing Club”

  1. Thanks for the pix, like the look of the Lune Longboat. Nice lines and looks like a good sea boat. Love the swoop of the tiller.

    What design is the sailing canoe? I own a Mac.

  2. I think I remember the owner telling me that the Lune Longboat's tiller is that elegant shape only to make room for an outboard!

    The canoe is partly my design – but I'm sure the builder won't be offended if I say that Jim's an independent-minded kind of guy, and almost everything bar the hull is his own work.

    I'd say the boat was working pretty well, however, and I'm hoping that some day he'll take it for a canoe-camping trip – it would work well in that role.


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