Ilaut thole pin photos from Ben Crawshaw

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Thole pine from a Spanish Ilaut photographed by Ben Crawshaw

Thole pin photographed by Ben Crawshaw

A series of posts about the traditional Spanish ilaut have appeared at Ben Crawshaw’s weblog The Invisible Workshop over the past few days. Interestingly, they’re carvel built and rather like ship’s lifeboats in shape

I was particularly struck by one post about thole pins that might interest rowers in particular. Some appear not to have been used, while others are clearly very important to the boat’s owners, yet others show a characterful kind of neglect.

Winter fun in Spain with the Light Trow

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Ben Crawshaw

Ben Crawshaw’s having fun chasing maximum speeds with his GPS

While we’re living with the wettest and windiest winter weather I can remember, Ben Crawshaw has dressed up warm and is having a riot sailing and rowing his Light Trow down in Spain. One thing that’s driven him on lately is using a GPS, which has led to some astonishing maximum speeds and to the discovery that sheeting in both sails and using his rudder gets the best possible speed from his boat.

Of course I’m hugely impressed by the speeds he’s logging. In reality I suspect some of these are peaks due to currents, wave action and the odd GPS artifact, but there seems to be every reason for thinking the boat is performing pretty well nevertheless.

For more on the Light Trow, click here.

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Ben Crawshaw’s Light Trow appears in Wooden Boat magazine

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Light Trow built by Ben Crawshaw of The Invisible Boatshed

One of the best Christmas presents for me this year has been the news that Ben Crawshaw’s very nice project Onawind Blue built to my Light Trow design has made the launchings section of the superb US magazine Wooden Boat! Well done Ben – that’s quite an achievement with a first boat, and a plywood one at that.

I originally drew the Light Trow to be built on a strongback, but Ben built his using conventional stitch and glue at my suggestion, and we were both please when it worked perfectly. Some time I’ll revise the plans to eliminate the strongback, but in the meantime you can build the boat the same way using the plans Ben used. The free plans download is here.

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