Does anyone know the history of this Stebbings scow now in South Africa please?


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South Africa resident Pippa Jarman has got in touch from South Africa to ask whether readers can provide further information about the earlier history of her boat Clemency, Stebbings scow number 238.

Clemency is a Burnham or East Coast scow, and Pippa’s information is that she was built at Burnham on Crouch, Essex, by William Stebbings in 1954.

The scow type of 11ft dinghy is common around the Solent, and various towns and villages claim their own variants, including Lymington, Keyhaven, Yarmouth, West Wight, and Chichester. They each have a standing lug sail, a pivoting centre board, a small foredeck, a transom fitted with a transom-hung rudder.

It’s said that more than 400 scows, both clinker and GRP built, are currently active at clubs around the Solent Clubs, and I gather that the type is still being produced.

The Burnham scow variant was derived from the West Wight model, which was designed in 1923 by Theo Smith of Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. They were built of elm on oak, with spruce spars.

Clemency was owned by John Davies from around 1979 and then passed to his daughter, Niki Lili, who had her until 2012. Niki told Pippa that her family used to sail Clemency in Chichester Harbour, from Itchenor and from the beach at West Wittering in Sussex. When Niki’s moved to Cornwall in 1990, they sailed her in the Fal Estuary, from Loe Beach, near Truro, and from Falmouth.

Clemency was restored by John Claridge of Lymington between August and November last year (the final photo above shows her before restoration) and was then transported to South Africa, where she became boat no 578 at Knysna Yacht Club at the end of December.

PS – in a comment below, Bursledon Blogger Max says there’s also a Hamble scow, and he has a fibreglass Nottingham scow.

4 thoughts on “Does anyone know the history of this Stebbings scow now in South Africa please?”

  1. Interesting, although you didn’t mention the Bembridge Scow built in 100’s by Alan Coombes since 1950, when designed by Bill Waight. This is the Scow known as the Solent Scow, and the Island Sailing Club Scow, and was also built by Medina Yard and Ned Williams at the Sunbeam Yard in Cowes. There are still many sailing today.

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