A beautiful model of a ring-netter

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Jay Cresswell’s model of Ribhinn Donn I, and (bottom right) Antonia & Ruaraidh

This stunning model of a ring netter has been made by Jay Cresswell, an ex-trawler skipper, long-standing Old Gaffers Association member and authority on marine history who has for many years lived near Aberdeen.

He writes:

‘You might like to see the attached. I’ve nearly completed a 3/4in to 1ft model of the 54ft Alex Noble & Sons-built ring netter Ribhinn Donn I. (Her sister is Silver Quest, which is currently sitting in the mud at Penryn down by Falmouth.)

‘I still have to complete rigging details, wheelhouse interior and other bits and pieces such as semi-balancing edge to rudder. The bottom is quite literally anti-fouled. The model is built from original yard drawings for these two boats.

‘This is the second ringer I’ve tackled, the other being a Weatherhead & Blackie 56-footer to same scale named Antonia & Ruaraidh after my two oldest children. (See above.) The original boat in this case is the Catherine Anne, which was chopped up a few years ago in one of the UK fishing vessel decommissioning rounds.

‘I hope you like the images. It’s been a year’s worth of spare time. There are no metal fastenings in the hull, with all planking dowelled to the frames.

‘Regards, Jay Cresswell, Aberdeen’

I certainly do like them Jay – you’ve created a couple of meticulous models that rival or better many of those seen in museums. I particularly like the way every detail seems to be properly to scale. Many thanks for sending them over.

Lechlade Raid, the Beale Park Thames Boat Show, and this year’s Watercraft comp for amateur boatbuilders

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Home Built Boat Regatta - the sun can shine at an HBBR meeting

A rare moment of bright sunshine at an HBBR meeting

The Home Built Boat Regatta folks are planning what sounds like a jolly river trip. It starts at Lechlade on the 1st June with the aim of arriving at Beale Park, Pangbourne, on the evening before this year’s Beale Park Thames Boat Show.

In keeping with the HBBR’s traditions, the Lechlad Raid is not an organised event but a cruise of individuals in company who welcome all who wish to join them, but ask that all boats and crews are up to the trip. Each individual is responsible for ensuring their own liabilities are covered and for making their own arrangements for over-nighting during the journey. There will be no formal safety cover.

From what I understand, the start time on the 1st is unclear, but more information will doubtles emerge and will be posted at the HBBR website events page.

Some readers may be interested to hear that by chance the Trailer Section of the Old Gaffer Association is also having a meet at Lechlade on the weekend of the 30-31st May, and that it will be happy to see Lechlade Raiders who decide to arrive early to join them. The OGA folks have organised camping in a field behind the pub, and this is likely to cost about a tenner.

Another piece of news concerns the Water Craft magazine amateur boatbuilding competition, which is judged at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show each year. After some discussions with HBBR members, editor Pete Greenfield has decided to change the format in the light of complaints that the high standard of craftsmanship of some of the entries tends to discourage rather than encourage many amateur boatbuilders.

So this year there will be three equal prizes of £80-worth of Water Craft books for: The Home-Made Boat Which Offers Most Encouragement To Beginners, The Most Innovative Home-Made Boat and, because we don’t want to stop encouraging amateur craftsmen and craftswomen, The Most Professional- Looking Home-Made Boat.

Now it’s time to find some pictures of your home-built wooden boat, write a few words to describe her, add your contact details and send it no later than 17 April, either by email to: ed@watercraft- magazine. com or by post to: Amateur Boatbuilding Awards 2009, Water Craft, Bridge Shop, Gweek, Cornwall TR12 6UD. All entrants who bring their boats to the show will also receive £50-worth of vouchers. You don’t have to pre-register to participate in the Raid, though it would be kind to let the HBBR folks know you’re coming, but you must send entries for the competition to Water Craft by the the 17 April deadline in order to take part in the competition – for insurance reasons, you can’t just turn up on the day, by water or by road.

Be aware, also, that you must be a real amateur, and that boats built from pre-cut kits are not allowed to enter.

For previous intheboatshed.net posts featuring the HBBR, click here.

I won’t be able to join the HBBR folks once again dur to family reasons, but if anyone reading this fancies the trip and would like to build a simple and easily constructed rowing boat for the purpose, may I modestly suggest my Julie skiff plans? I will be pleased to help out with modification to make it more suitable for overnighting afloat.

Do you know the story of the ‘Blackwater sloop’ Gadfly II?

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Gadfly II awaiting restoration by Simon Papendick

Clacton-based wooden boat builder and restorer Simon Papendick is looking for information about a 1939 gaff sloop that he’s currently restoring. Can anyone shed any light on  this boat please? If you can, please comment below, or write either to me at gmatkin@gmail.com or to Simon at info@jstartuition-boatservices.co.uk.

The boat in question is named Gadfly II, and apparently the previous owner said she was a Blackwater gaff sloop and seems to have many of the same features – however, having contacted a number of sources Simon now believes she was built in Kent rather than the Blackwater, which is across the Thames Estuary, in Essex.

‘I have now got the job of restoring her to her former glory and hope to have her sailing this year. From what I have been able to find out about it, building on her began in 1939, stopped for the duration of World War II, and she was finally finished in 1945-46 and launched in 1946 for a local man in Kent.

‘The name Gadfly II appears on the list of vessels owned by members belonging to the Old Gaffer Association until the 1970s, but then drops off.’

Follow this link for gaff-rigged boats at intheboatshed.net.

Simon Papendick, who runs J-Star Tuition & Boat Services, can be reached at 07799401650 and info@jstartuition-boatservices.co.uk.

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