Man on the River needs a motorboat helm’s help to cross the Channel

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Environmental campaigner and long distance rower Giacomo de Stefano has stopped off at Oare Creek near Faversham and is greatly impressed by the size of its tides and doubtless also by its peerlessly gloopy mud.

He has also met some well known local boating people, including Leena Reekie and Bob Berk.

Giacomo’s rowing his Iain Oughtred-designed Ness Yawl from London to Turkey via 15 countries with a companion, and from reading his weblog I believe he may need an experienced sailor to helm his support boat across the English¬†Channel in a few days. Does anyone out there fancy an out-of-the-ordinary sea trip complete with cameras? It might be fun… If you’re interested and know what you’re doing, contact Giacomo via his website:¬†http://www.manontheriver.com .

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A traditional Hebridean lugger built by Harris boatbuilder John Macaulay

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Macaulay 6

Macaulay 2 Macaulay 5 Macaulay 1

Macaulay 3 Macaulay 4

One of the treats of the Beale Park Thames Boat Show was seeing one of John Macaulay’s traditional Hebridean skiffs full of old-fashioned boatbuilding features.

Note the short floors and ribs, for example – they’re very much what one sees in a Viking ship or Viking canoe. What’s more, the oarlocks and oars obviously belong to a time before the fashion for adopting rowing racing practice brought in round oars in round oarlocks capable of being rotated.

For an earlier post on Macaulay, click here.

This interesting article sheds light on the man himself: John Mcaulay Boatbuilder. Of the virtues of wooden boats he says: ‘There is only one boat worth having and that is a wooden boat. They are unique; one off and beautiful. How anyone with any sensitivity could choose a plastic hull over a wooden one made by hand, I will never know.’

Here’s another newspaper piece in the Stornaway Gazette describing the restoration of a Western Isles boat.

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What it’s really all about…

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Out to sea

Barge boat Barge boat 2 Red sails

Smack 3 Smack 2 Smack

Click on the images for much larger photos. The one at the top
makes a particularly fine background – click on the thumbnail,
then click on your right mouse button when the large image loads

We’ve just got back from a blissful weekend’s sailing around the Swale in our little Ian Proctor-designed Prelude, and here are some photos to prove it. From the top: an unknown yacht making her way seaward at low tide in the morning light; two shots of a boat belonging to one of the local sailing barges (there are two shots because one reveals something about its hull form – for more more on barges, click here); an unknown yacht rides the afternoon tide; three shots taken by Julie of a smack at Tester’s yard at the mouth of Oare Creek.

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