Tiernan Roe completes a Ninigret

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Ninigret built by Duncan Sclare

It’s well worth taking a look at boatbuilder Tiernan Roe’s weblog to learn more about the John Atkin (no relation) Ninigret he has just built and sold.

The Ninigret is an easily-driven 22ft design originally intended for fishing in the rough waters of Block Island.

See an earlier Intheboatshed.net post about this project.

I think the builder and the new owner deserve our congratulations on a very nice looking boat, but I think there’s more to this story – for along with quite a few others I think boats that go reasonably fast on relatively low power and while consuming sensible quantities of fuel must be the way of the future.

John Atkin wasn’t a lover of big engines on fishing boats, and said the Ninigret would do 18knots with a 30hp outboard. Tiernan himself says that the fuel costs of this boat will be perhaps a tenth of what a RIB would soak up, and is planning to offer a range of low-power boats in the future.

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Faroese rowers racing on BBC Television

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Faroese rowersFaroese rowers working hard

The past few weeks have been an amazing time for interesting boats on BBC Television – and the latest sighting, racing Faroese rowing boats on an episode in the Coast series, is available on the BBC iPlayer.

I can hardly believe I’ve beaten the usually alert Chris Partridge of Rowing for Pleasure to posting about this, but the programme shows the interesting and elegant boats in action and includes an interview with a group of attractive if powerfully developed Faroese women rowers. It’s noticeable that their English is excellent – and we’re told that they learn the language using the Internet.

Way up north of Scotland, Orkney and even Shetland, the Faroes are remote but these days far from isolated, as the presenter points out.

Like their tall, blonde rowers, the Faroese craft are clearly the result of the Viking era, and even the modern fishing boats in the harbour show a close kinship to Viking ships.

Click here for a photo of a Faroese women’s rowing team taking part in a race.

Click here for a Flickr gallery of Faroese boats.

Click here for still more photos of Faroese boats on the Wikimedia Commons.

800px-Fuglafjordur_fishing_boats,_Faroe_Islands

Modern motorised Faroes boats still show their evolution from Viking ships: taken from the Wikimedia

John Welsford’s new Pilgrim 16ft open cruising boat design

It’s entirely a matter of coincidence, but John Welsford has also been weblogging the design of boat¬† – though his could hardly be different from my little skiff.

Pilgrim is a small seaworthy open cruising boat light enough to be managed by one person on the beach, but fitted with removable ballast. It has a rounded and balanced hull form that allows it to heel without wanting to turn – in that way, it’s more like a yacht than modern dinghy, even if it is dinghy-sized.

(For those who don’t immediately understand this last point, I should explain that the now conventional sailing dinghy form that encourages planing when sailing usually also makes a boat that pulls round into the wind when heeled. Yachts however are generally designed to remain easy to steer as they heel, because there’s usually no way of ensuring they can be sailed flat – some obvious exceptions are high-tech boats with moveable ballast and heavy keels that swing sideways such as Mini-Transats and Open 60s.)

John’s project is interesting not least because I can’t recall anything recent that’s quite like it, but also, I think, because its rounded hull bears at least a little resemblance to the beach fishing boats that have been used on the South Coast of England for generations, and I’d guess that at least some of John’s design criteria have something in common with the needs of the crews of those little boats – which one might say was a matter of convergent evolution.¬† Notice the cute bowsprit designed to maximise the rig area to match the powerful hull, and the long shallow keel that becomes deeper the further aft you go. The rather misleading name for this feature is ‘drag’, by the way, but don’t let that confuse you.

I do hope John himself doesn’t think I’m talking complete nonsense!

I wonder what the members of the Uk’s dinghy cruising movement will think about it? My only concern is that I think rowing it will be hard work – but with a big rig, perhaps that won’t be necessary very often in John’s sailing area.

Click here to follow the Pilgrim project’s progress.