A hydroplane at the Beale Park Boat Show

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Outboard hydroplane Twirler at the Beale Park Boat Show

The exhibition at the Beale Park Boat Show features quite a few veteran motor boats of various kinds, and last year it included this little plywood hydroplane.

I was struck by just suited to home-building a boat like this must be. While it isn’t very big, complicated or expensive to build, it must deliver a heck of a lot of fun in a small package – and other water users won’t automatically assume you’ll behave like a selfish oaf, as they do when they see a group of jetskis coming their way.

I notice that there are various plans for hydroplanes available, but I’d guess that these plans at the Svenson site look pretty useful: Yellow Jacket

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Victoria of Bridlington, a Bridlington rowing boat at the Beale Park Boat Show




Victoria of Bridlington

It’s high time we had some more photos from the Beale Park Thames Boat Show, as this year’s event isn’t too long away. If it isn’t already in your diary it takes place on the River Thames at Pangbourne, and the dates this year are the 5th-7th June.

Victoria of Bridlington is a Bridlington rowing boat built by the Siddalls, a Bridlington boatbuilding family – read all about them at the website of the Bridlington Sailing Coble Preservation Society. Nowadays, she’s apparently one of two similar boats kept on the Thames, and there’s even a small website including photos of Victoria and an even cuter dog.

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Electric punt Voltaire at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show


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There’s always much to admire at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show, and some of the craft on show become quite familiar over time.

This electric punt is one I’ve seen several times, and it’s a bit of a favourite – not only is it an elegant and beautifully cared for boat, but it has the power to glide almost silently. The contrast with the ubiquitous infernal combustion engine is enough to make one want to stretch out in the sun – that forward area would be a good place – and sigh.

It’s a nice touch also that it bears the name of a famous philosopher and experimenter in natural philosophy.

If you like river punts like Voltaire, also see the following posts:

Henry Taunt’s 19th Century photos of the Thames

Punts galore at Oxford

Free online boatbuilding plans for a racing punt