The Dinghy Cruising Association at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show

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The Dinghy Cruising Association at last year’s Beale Park Thames Boat Show

Dinghy Cruising Association member Nick Watt has written to say that his organisation will be at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show.

The DCA is usually in residence at the show, and generally provides a lot of the on-water activity in a range of small craft.

This year, says Nick, the DCA folks will have a stand ashore on which it’s hoping to present member Dave Jennings’ nearly completed Roamer – this is a specialist dinghy cruising design designed by a DCA member, the plans for which are available from the association. To find out more about the Roamer, click here and here. There will also be a pontoon providing moorings for DCA members’ boats.

A key aim of the DCA’s presence at the show is to demonstrate that there are more ways of having fun on the water in small boats than necessarily racing around the marks (hoorah to that, I say), and that a wide variety of small craft (including, hopefully, Alistair Law’s Paradox) can be used for cruising in coastal waters.

Whatever, those who drop in can be sure of a welcome.

The River Thames in 1935, and oyster fishing at Whitstable

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Colour on the Thames – footage from the Thames dating back to 1935

Here’s a sweet piece of film of the River Thames years ago spotted by ‘Carl’, who belongs to the Dinghy Cruising Association’s splendid Openboat YahooGroup. If you’re a small boat sailor I recommend it for all sorts of practical reasons, and this kind of thing is a real bonus.

But back to the film, which has been put up by the British Film Institute. Check it out for steam ships and tugs, busy bridges, some nice old footage of sailing barges motoring and under canvas in the Pool of London, and some very coolly-dressed up-stream watermen in suits and hats working some small steam boats.

PS – Do have a look this splendid footage of oyster fishing at Whitstable in 1920 that I’ve just found: Isn’t YouTube fun? It’s certainly better than the telly is most evenngs.