Expect the unexpected at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show



Here are a few more photos of this year’s Beale Park Thames Boat Show.

It’s an event that always serves up a few surprises, and this year’s exhibits included UK Home Built Boat Rally member Tim O’Connor’s well appointed and slippery-looking home-designed double-ended camper powered by a Hobie drive.  Great, great work Tim!

To find out more about this entertaining and helpful ‘disorganisation’ take a look at the UKHBBR forum and these photos of their group trip down the River Thames to Beale Park.


Something else that caught my eye was this prototype bicycle-towed flax and flax resin covered canoe. You can read more about flax boats at the Flaxland website.


Sam Devlin’s Nancy’s China has always seems to me to be a most attractive little plywood boat. I haven’t seen one in the UK before.


Here’s Graham Neill’s handy little home-built sailing canoe Katie Beardie, designed by Graham and his fellow HBBRer Cee Dubbs. There’s more about this project on the HBBR forum (link above) and on Graham’s own weblog.

By the way, for those of us who don’t know – and I didn’t – Katie Beardie is a character in a nursery rhyme sung in Scotland that goes to the same tune as the English Mrs Huddledee.


No, I can’t explain this one either. If only Jack Holt and Barry Bucknell were around today – I’d love to hear what they’d have to say about this whacky adaptation of their Mirror dinghy.


Norman Fuller’s Ella skiff at the 2010 HHBR meet at Barton Turf

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Rowing for Pleasure weblogger Chris Partridge and Norman Fuller demonstrate the Ella skiff under oars and with an electric outboard.

Norman brought his Ella to the 2010 HBBR meeting at Barton Turf, and quite a few of us had some fun with it. These clips show Chris putting the little boat through her paces, while Norman demonstrates the outboard, which is a 12lb model that he has set up with control lines.

Free plans for the Ella skiff can be found on the Free boat plans page of this website – you’ll find a link to the free plans page right at the top of this page.

Chris Perkins’ photos from sunny Portsoy 2009

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Saturday, Portsoy 2009. Not really a day for a race! As usual,
click on the thumbnails for some nice big photos

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Award-winning lapstrake boat builder and Iain Oughtred boat plan specialist Chris Perkins has written to tell us a little about this year’s Scottish Traditional Boat Festival at Portsoy, and to share some of his photos. If you enjoy these, there are lots more at his weblog Strathkanchris’s Little World.

‘A few snaps for you from a very sultry Scottish Trad Boat Fest. Went to the seminar on Thursday. The session with the Swedish boatbuilders, the Ravinis brothers, was brilliant and I would have liked more, Iain Oughtred’s talk was enjoyable if a bit rushed, and  our American visitor Bob Walser on shanties was enjoyable – he has a good voice. I’m afraid that for me the history of the clippers, although well presented, wasn’t of great interest – they are far too big! Unfortunately I had to leave before Nigel Irens talk.

‘Saturday was a magical day. We were up at 05:30 so we could make the three-hour drive over in plenty of time to see the boats away. Lots of boats, bright skies and very little wind so the race turned into a bit of a drift around on glassy water – but the consolation was that the light was pretty darned good and created some good shots – well I like to think so!

‘It was an event that I think you and Julie would have hugely enjoyed. As always there was far to much to see and hear in the one day, one of these days I will take a boat over and ”do” the weekend properly.

Well Chris, it sounds irresistable. I’ll talk with Julie about 2010… Thanks for the photos!

I should add that Chris is a leading light of the Home Built Boat Rally group of British-based home boat builders.

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