Along Oare Creek at Christmas

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Hollowshore Cruising Club burgee

The view from Hollowshore Cruising Club’s current premises A sweet little open boat on the creek The view towards the head of Oare Creek

HCC’s burgee flutters against a blue sky; the view from the HCC’s clubhouse; a small clinker-built boat captured in the winter light; a view of Oare

Stakes in an Oare Creek gravel pit

Gravel pit at Oare

Julie and I took a stroll along the Oare Creek, near Faversham last weekend. We had a couple of errands to do in the area, but the real reason we made the journey was that it offered a chance for some overdue R&R.

While we were there, I took these shots. The one of the Hollowshore Cruising Club burgee seems particularly significant, as this is the last winter it will grace the old shed that’s been the club’s home for 50 years.

I can’t say where we’re moving, as the negotiations had not been completed when I last spoke with the Commodore, but it seems likely that we’ll have better facilities in future. Sill, I will miss the old clubhouse, not least because it’s picture window and balcony offer what I consider to be one of the best views in Kent.

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Webb Chiles, the man who did extraordinary things in a Drascombe Lugger

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Chiles is an extraordinary character who has often chosen to live life on the edge, including long trips by sea in a 18ft Drascombe lugger yawl.

There’s a lot to read in this unusual, slightly dreamy website, and some nice photos too.

Don’t lose your metalwork to thieves this winter says Navigators & General

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Insurer Navigators & General is urging boat owners to take precautions over the winter months to try to avoid becoming a victim of metal theft.

A huge increase in metal thefts is being reported following a doubling of copper prices over the last two years. In October the BBC obtained figures in showing a 170 per cent metal theft increase in Cambridgeshire, 120 per cent in West Mercia, 112 per cent in the West Midlands, and 100 per cent in Warwickshire and Sussex.

Copper and bronze items such as bells and plaques are obvious targets, but boats with bronze or alloy propellers, or copper sheathing are said to be at particular risk over the dark winter months when many boats are are laid up ashore.

N&G is advising customers to check on the level of security offered by their chosen yard, and only use established boatyards or secure compounds to store their boats. For complete peace of mind owners might consider removing props altogether over the lay-up period, as the cost of replacing propellers can run to hundreds of pounds.

The company also strongly advises boat owners to check the wording of their insurance policies and endorsements to ensure that they cover ‘theft of equipment following forcible and violent removal from the exterior of the vessel’ – some policies only cover ‘theft of equipment following forcible entry’, which may exclude a claim where a prop has been stolen from an external shaft.

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