An elegant electric canoe from 100 years ago

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Gena is a fine electric canoe built more than 100 years ago, and restored in the late 1980s by her owner Robin Newlands. All the fittings, equipment and motor are original, except the controller, which was modernised in 1923.

Take a look at the picture links – I took them at the Beale Park Boatshow in 2005, and it’s a privelege to have some good sized images to show you all. Thanks for taking her to the show Mr Newlands, wherever you are – you must be very proud.

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Also, take a look at the Thames Vintage Boat Club site – its members have put up many of pictures of their boats and some articles :
http://www.thamesvintageboatclub.com

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Another visit to the Thames

I was lucky enough to have a boating father, and I learned early to love rowing on the Thames, picnicing under weeping willows and watching the world go by, as my dad did all the rowing work while the rest of the family lay around the boat watching the water ripple around our fingers. Great days, and beautiful, elegant boats. Those family outings were forty-odd years ago and many of the skiffs have now been replaced by plastic boats. However, there are still skiffs on the Thames, many are treasured by doting owners, and a few can even be hired (see below).

So as we face up to winter arriving here in the UK, I’d very much like to take this opportunity to take www.intheboatshed.net readers back to the river for a few minutes to the often sunny world of rowing skiffs.

Clubs devoted to racing skiffs:

http://www.theskiffclub.org.uk/
http://www.dittons.org.uk/
http://www.tvsc.co.uk/

Hire a skiff:
http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/skiffhire/boats.html

The traditional Swan Upping event, during which skiffs and other boats are used to mark swans to show who owns them:
http://www.thamesweb.co.uk/swans/upping_photos2000.html

Traditional boat rallies on the Thames:
http://www.tradboatrally.com/
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A Thames-side yard to make a grown man sigh

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I hardly need to say anything about the work of Peter Freebody’s yard – the picture below says it all, including the reflections in the brightwork on the deck. But I will add that that the Freebody team really are the Vermeers of sparkling varnish – no matter how closely you care to look the work is flawless and the finish has that deep quality that doesn’t seem to belong in the 21st century at all. Fabulous…

For more on Peter Freebody’s new builds and amazing restorations:
http://www.boatbuilder.co.uk/

If you can add to this story, please email us at gmatkin@gmail.com .

Peter Freebody slipper launch