A well-travelled skiff

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Venus the well-travelled skiff in Victoria

Venus, a well-travelled Thames-style skiff spotted in Australia by Jeff Cole

Lest we get too doomy, and serious I’ve decided to post this photo of an 1880s single-scull Thames-style skiff hanging in a country nursery at Victoria, Australia. Jeff Cole, who spotted and photographed Venus for us, says the story is that she was imported from Scotland, and was built by the nursery owner’s great-grandfather.

It’s clearly very well-travelled for a small river boat. I wonder what the rest of the story may be – did a River Thames boatbuilder move to Scotland? Did a Scot learn boatbuilding on the banks of the Thames? Or was great-grandfather an amateur who worked from a book? Or were skiffs of this kind far more widespread in the last 19th century than we tend to think?

Whatever the answer, the boat in the photo looks very much like the one shown in this earlier intheboatshed.net post.

Once again, my thanks go to Jeff Cole. To see some earlier material he has sent us, including some mouthwatering shots of early 20th century racing yachts, click here.

For some photos of later skiffs with rather more sheer at Ruswarp on the River Esk in Yorkshire, click here.

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Christmas at Rye Harbour – and a handsome old motor launch hull for sale

Small gaffer Petrel makes for home

The small gaff-rigged cruiser Petrel makes her way back through Rye Harbour. As usual, double-click on the images for a larger picture

Small gaffer Petrel makes for sea Small gaffer Petrel at sea Small gaffer Petrel makes for home

Small gaffer Petrel makes for home

Four images of Petrel making for sea, out on Rye Bay, and making her way back to the harbour

A few photos taken at Rye Harbour today, Boxing Day 2007. There were a lot of people out and about, all trying to make up for the previous day’s blowout, no doubt.

I was entertained by Petrel’s brief trip out to sea (above). The little boat’s crew had a great day for a sail, but they stayed out for just minutes: could they have been rushing back for turkey tikka massala followed by Christmas pudding sauteed in butter?
Wooden motor boat hull for sale at Rye Wooden motor boat hull for sale at Rye Wooden motor boat hull for sale at Rye

A handsome carvel-built wooden motor boat hull for sale – click on the central image for the phone number to call

Rye Harbour My kids, Ella and Ewan on the beach Rye Harbour red shed

A view out to sea from the harbour; my kids Ella and Ewan on the beach (note Petrel at sea, and WWII pill box gun emplacement to right); Rye’s brightly painted landmark red-roofed shed

Rye Harbour entrance derelict dolphin Rye Harbour’s heroic lifeboatmen and their boats Cottage at Rye Harbour Camber Sands busy with people

Disused dolphin at the entrance of Rye Harbour with Dungeness Power Station in the background; Rye’s heroic lifeboatmen’s rescues included a rowed rescue of an aeroplane in the 1920s, and the subsequent loss of all 17 crew in another rescue some time later; a cottage at Rye Harbour; Camber Sands full of people having a Boxing Day walk

The Francis Frith Collection has some fine photos of Rye from long ago.

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PS – Don’t miss Dick Wynne’s great story – click on the Comment link below.

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Book a room in South-East England

Classics at Lough Erne

Ireland’s three great inland yacht clubs on Loughs Derg, Erne and Ree, came together for the first Waterways Ireland Classic Boat Regatta at Lough Erne Yacht Club on the weekend of September 15th and 16th.

The fleet was clearly splendid, and so was the weather, and from what we can see the photographers had almost as much fun as the people in the boats. Go to the page, scroll down and gaze at the photos, and sigh.

http://www.lryc.ie/

I just love these Shannon One Designs photographed by Gail McGowan. See more at:

http://www.cloonaveel.com.