Whaler query from Ward van Hellemondt

Dutch shipwright Edward van Hellemondt has been asked by his local sea rowing club at Naarden to build a new Montagu whaler, as a group of club members are great fans of the design – apparently there are only two Montagu whalers in Holland and they are both in constant use.

So he’s looking for help in finding construction plans or detailed drawings that could help in building the boat – neither of the two existing boats can be borrowed for the time it would take to create a set. Edward says he’s exhausted all his Dutch nautical contacts, reference libraries and museums.

The Naarden  club is clearly enterprising. It started three years ago, and now is the largest sloop rowing club in Holland, winning first place in many classes, both women and men – and it all started with an entry for the Buddy for Buddy DMRC (Dutch Marines Rowing Challenge) in which eight boats rowed from Rotterdam to London to commemorate the 450 yrs of the Dutch Marines, and their link to the UK’s special forces.

All proceeds went to the Buddy Program to help ex-combatants with PTSD.

Some of the Naarden boats went on to participate in the Great River Race.

Edward can be reached at wardhell@gmail.com.

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Boat Building Experience with Alan Thorne, a crowd-funded community project for ages 12 to 99

Faversham’s Alan Thorne is running a crowd-sourced project that should be of interest for all sorts of people – those who want a taste of working with ply and timber or boatbuilding, or in a workshop, or who need the therapy of working with their hands or learning something new. I’d guess it might even appeal to those who just plain want to get out of the house.
To contact him, see the ad on this page.
Here’s what Alan says:
‘Building a boat, getting into it and on to the water is magic! It can be a life changing experience. Continuing from our success with Boat Camp for children and several boat building schemes with adults, Boat Building Experience is the new, exciting adventure where pairs of adults or children work with me to create Joansa,a beautiful John Welsford-design rowing boat.

‘I don’t want to charge anyone to participate. In that way anyone can come along and everything necessary will be provided. People can make a donation if they’d like to. For some it will be a therapy, others will want to learn boat building skills, many will grow in confidence and everyone will have fun as Joansa takes shape and finally floats gracefully on the water.

‘Not charging a fee means that I need to fundraise to cover my costs and to start the next course. Already I am over subscribed. Your help will mean that many people will be helped. Thank you!’

Montagu whaler Swan and whaler no. 124/1964

Montagu whaler 124/1964

Bristol charity Rocking the Boat Bristol member Steve Evans is rebuilding a 1964 Montagu whaler named Swan, but are short of oars, mast and sailing kit. If anyone has these they can offer, Rocking the Boat would be most grateful for your help. Email me at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll pass the message along.

In addition, Rocking the Boat has another Montagu whaler (built:  Portsmouth 1964, no 124) that we would like to give to someone who wants to finish its rebuild. It’s basically sound but needs a new home, and is at present lying in Bristol.

Steve has this to say about the story of Swan and whaler no. 124/1964:

‘She was reputedly built in Malta and was once owned by Berni Bruen, who wrote the Song of the Montagu Whaler (scroll down this page to find it), and later by Graham Brown in Falmouth .

‘After Graham passed away, Jonny Mills from Falmouth Marine School took her under his wing and completed some major repairs with students.

‘The story then shifts to Bristol where she now lies and is being further renovated with a possible showing at the Semaine du Golfe, Brittany next May.

‘There is much work to be done and either fabrication or sourcing of the two masts and oars to complete the project by retired chaps under the aegis of All-Aboard Watersports and Rocking the Boat Bristol.

‘The Beagle Project , based in Devonport, have been most encouraging in our project and gave us the second whaler, which sadly bwe find we cannot find the resources to complete. We are therefore looking to a group or individual who would be interested in taking her on before we have to cut her up. She was built at Portsmouth in 1964 and is numbered 124.

‘If you are interested in the boat or have any oars / sailing kit for our boat Swan, I would very much appreciate contact from you.
There will be more to follow on Swan’s Story in later writings.’

Thanks Steve! Please contact him either via Rocking the Boat Bristol (link above) or email me at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll pass the message along.