Photos thanks to Ian Ruston
Chris Perkins has kindly sent a short report on the UK’s Home Built Boat Regatta group’s successful meeting at Barton Broad on the Norfolk Broads the weekend before last.
A whacking total of 19 boats attended – a splendid result given that at least some of us feared American-style messabouts like the HBBR were unlikely to be successful in the UK, not least because so few people take the trouble to build their own boats here.
The success of the HHBR makes an important point: whatever skill level we work to, amateur boatbuilders are not alone, even in the UK!
If Chris’s name seems familiar it’s because he won last year’s Watercraft prize prize for his Iain Oughtred-designed Macgregor canoe, Scotch Mist.
Any way, here’s his report, and some splendid photos from both him and Ian.
Before you read any further, I should explain that in our changeable climate, HBBR meetings have traditionally been dogged by bad weather – there are also one of two items of detail that Chris didn’t have to hand, so please email me or use the comment link below to fill me in on anything that seems to be missing.
‘Barton Turf 24-26th May 2008
‘The usual adverse weather forecast failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the ranks of the HBBRers who made treks from all parts of the country to assemble at Barton Turf for a weekend of sailing and boatbuilding talk.
‘Saturday dawned bright and breezy – just how breezy we would find out later – and everybody who came managed a spell on the water, some more successfully than others. Nobody landed in the water.
‘A good range of designers were represented, but fittingly, 25 per cent of the attendance were from the board of designer Conrad Natzio, which was fitting as these are his home waters.
‘Canoes were well represented, but some eagerly anticipated sailing trials unfortunately had to be curtailed due to strong winds.
‘One new build made an appearance, Dave Wallwork’s Oughtred Puffin ‘Lucia’ appeared on the Sunday, a beautiful piece of work, although the incessant rain would have meant that any launching party would have smacked of masochism!
‘An excellent barbecue was provided by Barton Turf Adventure Centre, thanks Simon and Sheila Fishwick, and a variety of beverages brought by the attendees ensured a great evening was had by all – even if one gentleman did become a little lost later in the evening.
‘Sunday was an unpleasantly wet and windy day and the planned group cruise to the pub in Neatishead dwindled to the intrepid crews of two vessels. Conrad in his Spoonbill and Tony Waller rowed his Oughtred Shearwater, Isabella III, the length of Barton Broad in borrowed waterproofs.
‘The rest of us chickened out – and took to the road. After a pleasant lunch we returned to the centre and watched the rain come down for a while longer until a small party gave up on the weather and went off in search of the Museum of the Broads at Stalham.
‘Monday was not as wet as Sunday, but by then most had had enough and started to make for home. In all, despite the weather, the meet was a success and the group is now looking forward to the next rallies in September at the Cotswolds Water Park, and at Ullswater.’
Boats and crews at Barton Turf May 2008
Mermaid 137, Steve Blackman; Sandpiper ‘Nessy’, Chris Partridge; Oystercatcher ‘Everhopeful’, Wayne Oliver and Marcus Davies; Tit Willow, Chris and Ruthie Waite; Isabella III, Tony Waller; Tonawanda, Phil Oxborrow; Deux Chevaux, Ian & Janet Ruston; Ranger canoe ‘B&Q’, Graham Neil; Inwe, Richard Rooth; Serafina, Peter Nobes; Ranger 8, Lata Nobes; Puffin Lucia, Dave and Carol Wallwork; Polly’s Folly and Scotch Mist, Chris and Viv Perkins; strip-built kayak, SamB (SOTP member); Tigerella, Simon Fishwick.
In addition, Conrad Natzio brough three examples of boats built to his own designs.
Photos thanks to Chris Perkins