‘For me, sailing the punt as I watch the birds wheel overhead is as close to God as I ever expect to get.’
It shows Dylan Winter re-affirming something important about boating and sailing.
It’s a lesson I think we should all take to heart, though we seem slow to do so. I remember the legendary boat designer and builder RD Culler spending a whole chapter making a very similar point in one of his books more than half a lifetime ago.
Keep Turning Left sailor and film-maker Dylan Winter has launched and successfully sailed his new Duck Punt for the first time.
He’s absolutely delighted with the little sailing canoe, which slips along as nicely as those made by earlier Duck Punters on the Essex coast. And there is the added bonus that he seems to be able to sail and film at the same time without falling in – which I’m pretty sure is what would happen to me if I tried the same trick.
Here on the upper floors of Intheboatshed.net Towers, we’re cheering for several reasons.
It’s always great when someone successfully builds a little boat and enjoys it on the water, and the news seems even better when the builder is in the UK. Round here, amateur boatbuilding projects are nothing like so frequent as they should be, given how much water we have to play with.
I’m pleased, too, that the little Duck Punt shows clearly how effective narrow, flat-bottomed boats can be. The British tend to believe all boats must be round bottomed to be any good, and that therefore building a boat is just too complicated to be worth considering. Dylan’s little punt gives the lie to that myth, just as did all the other duck punts that came before it.
Still more than all this, the project is a tremendous example of cheap and simple sailing.
Here’s Dylan’s page linking to his Duck Punt film; links to John Milgate’s original plans are also available on his website.
PS – Fans of Dylan’s adventures should bag a copy of the latest issue of PBO magazine, which includes an excellent feature-length article by the man himself.
I’ve just been charmed by another of Dylan Winter’s Keep Turning Left films. This one is a 10-minute piece about 12m Sharpies on the North Norfolk Coast, where the boats are popular with racers because of their ability to sail in a few inches of water.
It’s free to watch in a small window, but those who subscribe for $4.99/quarter have a much better chance of appreciating Dylan’s dreamy photography.
For more on the 12m Sharpie class, see the class website and earlier posts at intheboatshed.net: 12 metre Sharpies at Wells, Norfolk and Temptations part IV: a small classic to build and race .