Plans for Percy Dalton’s Fal Estuary oyster dredging boat St Melorus are
available from booksellers Dalton Young
Looking at the 2008 Beale Park Show exhibitors’ websites I noticed this drawing of the St Melorus on the Dalton Young site. The company is a specialist bookseller, I’m delighted to see my book Ultrasimple Boatbuilding appears to have pride of place on its virtual shelves.
On looking around, I also noticed it also sells a set of plans for a Fal Estuary oyster dredging boat drawn up by Percy Dalton.
Drawn up originally for local boatbuilder Terry Heard to build in wood at his yard near Mylor, the St Melorus design is 28ft long, 26ft on the waterline, has a beam of 9ft and a relatively shallow draft of 4ft 4in, all under an impressive sail area of 700sqft.
As drawn, the St Melorus has a large open working cockpit and no engine, as these were are banned by local bye-laws still in effect today.
However, Heard’s yard, Gaffers & Luggers, went on to use the wooden boat as a plug for a GRP version, though I gather the hull has been adapted somewhat to create a cruising version complete with an engine and coach-roof.
One of Percy Dalton’s small paintings. The boat may not be of St Melorus,
but there’s clearly a strong family resemblance! Thanks go to Stuart
Young of Dalton Young for allowing us to use this image. Click in the image
for a full-sized version of thissmall painting. There are more samples here
See the list of exhibitors at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show web pages. Take a look at our extensive coverage of last year’s event.
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The many fans of Thomas Gillmer’s Blue Moon design should stop for a moment to take a glance at the latest photos of the two Blue Moons currently being built in Turkey. Even in the slightly cramped workshop, the classic, wholesome quality of the design’s hull is clear.
See the builder’s website at http://www.classicboats-turkiye.com .
For more on Thomas Gillmer’s Falmouth Quay punt-based design Blue Moon, click here.
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Tiny 1880s-style plank-on-edge dayboat Molly at the Beale Park Boat Show
One of the more amazing sights at the Beale Park Boat Show was Molly, an extraordinary toy-like plank-on-edge dayboat being built by boatbuilder Peter Graham.
At the time, I thought that seeing a boat like this would be a once-in-a-lifetime event as few people would build boats like this, and I’ve been saving it for a rainy day as a treat for intheboatshed.net readers when there wasn’t much else going on.
But a doubly amazing thing has happened – an enquiry from a boatbuilder in the US who says he is building a boat to the same lines, and has asked for contact details for Peter after seeing the boat in a magazine. Of course, as I had photos to share I was happy to help. So now we know that two of these amazing little boats are being built.
But perhaps the most surprising thing about the enquiry is that it seems to have come from the US – a land where in the 1870s and 80s racing yachts were so shallow and beamy they were nicknamed ‘soap dishes’ while the British were busy building to ‘plank-on-edge’ or ‘leadmine’ lines. The two styles of yacht regularly fought it out until a kind of compromise between the two extreme hull types eventually won out.
But compromises can have a dull quality, and it’s the lack of compromise that makes a boat like this exciting, at least to me. I urgently need to know how this boat sails – I hope she sails as well as she looks, for when I saw her it was clear Peter had done an outstanding job.
After I put this post up, Peter got in touch with two more images, one of Molly, and another of the sailplan from the plans he’s working to: