Light Trow Onawind Blue flies past (reprise)


Ben Crawshaw sailing Light Trow Onawind Blue in ‘entertaining’ conditions

I’ve posted this clip before, but can’t resist doing so again, after the chap who runs out local chandlery and I watched it again this afternoon. ‘It’s not a slow boat,’ I said, a little surprised as I’d forgotten how well the little Light Trow looks in this clip.

‘It’s a great advert,’ he said, ‘in fact it’s creaming along.’ I said little, but I can tell you that the designer blushed with pleasure!

There’s a serious message here for all of us: even in the UK this could be you, this summer. Get or build a boat and let’s all go sailing! (See the free boat plans page for a set of drawings for building this boat.)

For more posts about our friend Ben and his Light Trow, click here.

The horizons of Ben Crawshaw

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It’s been an entertaining and cheering couple of days here at Towers. Following yesterday’s jolly boat-nut’s outing to Turk’s boatyard at Chatham, today brought two nice pieces of news relating to the Light Trow: first that another Light Trow is about to be built in Australia, and, second, that a TV documentary about Ben Crawshaw’s boat building and sailing adventures made by a Catalan television company is now available for all of us to see over the Internet.

Click here to go to Ben’s own weblog post about the documentary including a link to the programme itself. It’s an entertaining and nicely shot piece of work, even if like me you can make out only a few words.

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POST-SCRIPT The drawings for the full-sized Light Trow Mk2 are now close to complete. If you’re interested in building this boat email me at, and I’ll send you them – but only if you promise not to share them without my permission!

Water Craft magazine for March-April 2010 will be out very soon!

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The latest Water Craft will be with us any day

It’s almost time for the next edition of Water Craft magazine to land on our doormats – so what’s in store this time around? Lots of boating goodies as usual – including the first of two big features by our friend Ben Crawshaw in which he reports on his adventures sailing his Light Trow named Onawind Blue. That feels like a real privilege, I must say, even though I’d prefer to seem my design used for rather less extreme adventures…

Here’s what Water Craft editor Pete Greenfield has to say about the upcoming issue:

So – how has boat craftsmanship, amateur and professional, fared through the long hard winter and the much longer and harder recession? In W80, we seem to have some of the answers.

Interestingly, for many professional wooden boat builders, the answer seems to be they are managing rather nicely thank you… though mostly with repairs rather than new builds.

At Peter Freebody & Co, for example, spiritual home of so many traditional Thames craft, Melanie Freebody tells Kathy Mansfield there may be snow on the roof but the boatshops beneath have rarely been busier.

Giving up the well-paid but stressful job in IT to learn to build wooden boats is a good idea for some. Certainly, on a dark dank morning in December when the students of 2009 launched the fascinating variety of craft they’d built at the Boat Building Academy at Lyme Regis, our Dick Phillips detected little stress… though maybe the champagne helped.

No nerves on the part of our tame amateur boatbuilder Peter Goad either, when Messrs Phillips and Chesworth turned up to sail the Cape Henry 21. Perhaps, as Peter explains in his final fit-out article, a five-year project encourages a relaxed and patient frame of mind.

Watch, on, Ben Crawshaw’s reports on sailing a small boat in the Med and you’ll see rather more evident anxiety. And reading about how he built his first boat, a slender lugger called a Light Trow intended for more sedate waters, in a public garden in Spain, you’ll encounter few manyana moments.

More sail than oar but definitely a craft to cope with exhilarating sea sailing, we think Paul Gartside’s free plans, complete with lines and offsets, for his 20ft (6m) lugger will persuade many a putative backyard boatbuilder to stop saying manyana and take the plunge.

As may the editor’s outdoor boat….

But outdoors, as Colin Henwood of Henwood & Dean Boatbuilders explains in his masterclass on painting and varnishing is not the ideal place to give your boat the finest finish for the new season. You need a big tent, kind-of like Water Craft itself.

Buy a subscription now (see the link in our right-hand column here at and pay with your credit card via PayPal) or find the March-April Water Craft in your local newsagents – to find a stockist in the UK see

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