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.

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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.

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!’