Conrad Natzio’s Little Grebe

The Thames Traditional Boat Society’s boats are fascinating and beautiful – but there are lots of us who would doubt our ability to handle that narrow-gutted punt and quite a few who might be nervous of the Thames skiff’s clinker construction. So here’s a nice achievable project for the rest of us: Conrad Natzio’s Little Grebe.

Little Grebe is simple and makes an attractive first home-built project, and because she’s also small and car-toppable she’s also the kind of little boat that’s easy to transport and launch, often by one person. What this convenience means in practice is that she’s the kind of boat that is likely to get a lot of use. Overall, I think she makes a very attractive package for a first project.

For more of Conrad’s designs, see:

Little Grebe Little Grebe

Little Grebe LIttle Grebe


At last – free online plans for a skiff and a racing punt

Another piece of excellent news today was these two sets of free online boat plans from the Thames Traditional Boat Society. They are nice drawings too. What a great bunch of people! Thanks to Mark Albanese for letting me know they were online.

How about these for a project for next year? If you build them please let us know at – we’d love to put up a post or two about your project.

Thames skiff

Thames racing punt


Share this with a friend using the Share this link below.

[ad name=”intheboatshed-post”]

A new canoe yawl designed by Albert Strange

I was very pleased to receive this email from Dick Wynne today:

“I just came across your excellent blog while winding down in the office for Christmas. You might be interested in my boat Constance, launched this July.

“She’s to the Albert Strange design Wenda of 1899, and was built by Fabian Bush at Rowhedge, near Colchester, from clinker larch on oak & elm, spruce spars and a ply deck. Sails are by Steve Hall of North Sea Sails.

“Although she’s a Victorian design I think she makes a very practical little day-sailer-coastal cruiser, even if she is a little cosy inside for some. I’m no expert but am told she is a good performer, which I guess her combination of slimness and sail area ensures. She is certainly a pleasure to sail. She lives on a mooring at Walton, but is now ashore there for
some more fitting out.”

My thanks go to Dick for an uplifting email in the desperate days before Christmas: a little flattery is always welcome, and Constance is a delight for anyone who, like me, has a weakness for canoe yawls.

If any other readers would like to send us photos and notes about their boats, please mail them in and I will be very happy to include what I can.

Boatbuilder Fabian Bush’s website is here:

By the way, there’s an Albert Strange Association who have an interesting, not to say tantalising website:

More photos of Constance in build and on the water can be found here: