20ft and 18ft Nick Smith West Country motor launches for sale

Nick Smith tells me that Bamboo Viper, a 2ft launch he built in 2004 is for sale. The Viper is larch on oak, copper fastened, 20ft length overall, 6ft in beam and fittend with a 2YM 15hp Yanmar inboard diesel. Lying at Salcombe, Devon.

Nick says she’s a great sea boat, ideal for fishing, picnicking,exploring and pottering. Contact him for the vendor’s details For the vendor’s details, contact Nick via tel 07827 644223, email nick_smith_boatbuilder@yahoo.com or Facebook.

Nick himself is selling an new 18ft motor launch planked and framed in khaya mahogany on oak, copper fastened and to have a new Beta 14hp diesel.  

The boat is for sale as during build, but can be fitted out with the new owner’s choice of decking and details. Again, contact Nick for details.

Nick, who has been repairing, restoring, and building classic West Country clinker boats since 1976, and served a four-year apprenticeship in wooden boatbuilding at Edgar Cove Ltd, Salcombe. 

22 Square Metre project for sale, Bristol

Mark Rolt of Bristol Classic Boat Co has been in touch to let us know he has 22 Square Metre for sale in his yard.

Here’s what he says:

Chadrack was built in Sweden in 1947. She would be too expensive for a commercial repair, so is going cheap to an enthusiast who could make her work.

‘She needs re framing from the turn of the bilge to the keel, and quite a lot of planks.The deck is a bit thin too, but would possibly last another season. The rig and rigging are in brilliant nick though!

‘Basically she is for sale for the fittings and the lead keel and with not trailer, at £5000.

‘She was splined and we think refastened about 10 years ago, but now needs half a dozen new planks.

‘There is a strange patch of fibreglass (beautifully done, but why?) on both sides, for about 8’ midships from gunwhale to water line.

‘At the same time she had a new Collars mast and boom, and rod rigging made.’

A Gremlin, a Walnut and a long career in boatbuilding and design: some of the story of Richard Pierce

Boat designer and builder Richard Pierce has been in touch to tell us some of the story of his life in boat building and boat design. (See his growing weblog here.)

It all began when Richard was a seven year-old with a Percy Blandford Gremlin in 1958.

Some 17 years later in 1978 he Richard (Franklin) Pierce and Brennan Eldridge set up Franklin-Eldridge Boatbuilders at Windermere in the Lake District.

The new firm started by building pram dinghies, which Richard says were designed to address some of the shortcomings of the Gremlin while including some of its most desirable and pragmatic details.  

An interest in the National 12 class had also led to visits to Wyche & Coppock in Nottingham during the 1950s & 60s, an experience that inspired an interest in glued clinker. To Richard it looked like the the perfect medium for building an easily developed design that would need the minimum investment in terms of a building jig.

The result was the Walnut. He says: ‘It was one of the very first glued clinker pram dinghies in production. Two of us turned out one a week!’  

He adds that The first Walnut built in 1978 was recently spotted in NewZealand… ‘She got there as a tender to my sister’s 28ft yacht Skugga in 1980.  I have to thank both PB and Wych & Coppock for early guidelines and inspiration for the 11 Walnut derivatives I eventually built.

‘I still enjoy sailing No. 6, built for my daughter in 1980.’

‘A tugboat skipper on the Mersey in 1963 explained to me that there were no two identical tugs… Their design was a constant and positive process of development, though which each change must be properly evaluated. This principle has been central to my boat design philosophy.’

The Franklin-Edridge partnership went on to design & build a variety of racing and cruising boats, from the 12ft Beachnut to the 35ft steamer Pendlebury, Merlin Rockets and National 12s, Windermere 17 Restricted Class Yachts, International 5.5 Metres, a few Canadian canoes and boats for the Heritage 23 Sailing & Rowing program in Michigan.  

The basic plan was always to make durable, well engineered, well behaved & attractive wooden boats.

With regard to Heritage Coast Sailing & Rowing programme, after they had completed several lapstrake kits, recently he proposed, designed and then built with the HCS&R team the H23 Indigenous, a Mackinaw boat built using locally sourced materials including white cedar strip planking with epoxy glass sheathing using epoxy from WEST, which is just 100 miles down the road from the Heritage Sailing & Rowing base at Tawas.

Richard is currently preparing a fully illustrated set of step-by-step building instructions and full size drawings/patterns for future builders of his various designs in wood/epoxy/glass construction.