Very nicely made by my friend Faversham boatbuilder Alan Thorne, this John Welsford-designed Joansa is on eBay now.
Whenever boat designers get together there’s one topic nearly always crops up – the problems that arise when some builder or other changes plans.
Other groups have also have their gripes – I know touring bands talk about the comfort that is afforded by having the bigger engine option in their vans and office workers complain about IT.
But changing a set of carefully worked out plans goes to the heart of what designers do when they make the mass of small decisions that together make a functioning and often good looking boat. So a designer’s anxiety mounts when someone announces that they’re making a change.
Often, the changer is an experienced person (such as Faversham’s Alan Thorne), the change is minor and everything works out fine – but so often that anxiety often turns to dismay when an unlooked for modification turns out to be disastrous for the builder’s project.
And so it was in the example Michael Storer quotes in this article. I commend it to first time and amateur boat builders – and I commend Mik’s thoughts on the issue to other designers.
The skiffs built by schoolchildren at Faversham got launched this weekend! (Click here to read about their building.)
The workshop builder explained about safety, the boats went in the water, the youngsters took turns to get to grips with using the oars, the designer got a turn in one of the, and his brother and wife Julie (after whom the design is named) had a go too.
I should explain that the plans for these boats are free and available from Intheboatshed.net. Well – that was all very good then!
By the way, the little boats are light and easy to handle out of the water and perform just as expected, with little wake and good directional stability – I’d say a little too much and will be arguing that a diagonal cut to the skeg near the stern might be a good idea.