Building a new traditional fishing boat for Dungeness

This is something amazing. Somewhere in Kent, retired shipwright Eric Paine and his friend Len are building a traditional South Coast fishing vessel. When they launch it off Dungeness, Eric believes it will be the first new boat of its type to sail off that beach in 45 years.

There’s a mass of details in these photos, and there is a huge sense of history attached to so many of them – quite a few would have been recognisable to Viking boatbuilders of long ago.

The whole thing is being done by eye and three moulds.

Notice the photo of the boat they’re working from – one key difference between it and the new boat is that the new one will have wheel steering rather than a tiller; otherwise they will be very close.

Notice also the long lath above the boat showing where the sheerline is to be, and the bilge pump, which I gather was something apprentices made many years ago.

I’m sure you’ll all joing with me in wishing great good luck to this fabulous project and a long life for the new boat!

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Faversham Boatcamp leader Alan Thorne available for talks

Our friend Faversham boat builder Alan Thorne is available to give talks to clubs and campaign groups about the boatbuilding aspect of the Faversham Creek Trust’s annual Boatcamp programme, in which local school children experience building boats and sailing, and spend time rowing on the Creek.

The Boatcamp programme includes building small plywood boats, which is the part of the programme Alan is most involved in. He has already given several talks, which have included the long version of Richard Fleury’s excellent film about the Boatcamp project (a short version is linked below).

The film clearly shows how much the children enjoy and learn from this smashing initiative.

We saw Alan give a talk to the Hollowshore Cruising Club, and it’s fair to say a good crowd turned up and were fascinated by what he had to say.

Alan says he’s happy to travel throughout London and the South East, and area that will include a lot of sailing and rowing clubs, and of course towns and villages where campaign groups may be looking for ways of encouraging the local community to engage with their own creeks and rivers.

Contact Alan by email at ajthorne3@hotmail.com or phone 07865 091155.

Who would like to rescue lovely Percy Mitchell ferry Hauley 3?

Boatbuilder Kyle Abingdon is trying to save Hauley 3, which was built by Percy Mitchell at Mevagissey in 1939, and has a typically lovely Mitchell hull-form.  She’s the old ferry from Dartmouth. 

Essentially a wooden tug boat, she is 40ft long and in imminent danger of being cut up. Kyle says she’s free to a good home. 

She needs a lot of work, including re-fastening and about 45% re-planking, a new deck and engine, and of course a new deck, superstructure and engine.

It’s a lot, but as Kyle points out, she’s a particularly beautiful historic vessel. Contact Kyle at kyleabingdon@yahoo.co.uk .