Marc Chivers and helpers build a 13ft clinker pilot punt

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Once again, Boat Building Academy principal Yvonne Green has sent us some more photos from the big student launch day at Lyme in December. Thanks Yvonne!

Marc Chivers was a manager with the NHS before he decided to change his life.

At the Boat Building Academy he built a 13ft traditional clinker pilot punt in larch on oak with a grown crook for a stem. She’s fastened with non-ferrous fastenings and bedded in a traditional manner, and the the lines were taken from a work of historical reference by Malcolm Darch.

Marc’s main helpers on the build were Seb Evans, who now wants to design and build traditional craft for a livingt, and Kevin Marshall, who is now working for T Nielsen & Co at Gloucester Docks.

By the way – I’ve just seen a pdf file of the Academy’s prospectus for the coming year, and I must say it makes very interesting reading. Email Yvonne at office@boatbuildingacademy.com and I’m sure she’ll send you a copy.

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Boxing Day at Rye Harbour

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Old beach boat at Rye Harbour. Click on the thumbnails for much
larger photographs

It’s almost a tradition in our house to take a trip down to Rye Harbour on Boxing Day, if the weather’s bright and clear – see this post from the same day last year. This time Julie’s cold and my injured right Achille’s heel prevented us walking very far, but I did manage to grab a few shots.

A nice bonus was that the pub has this photo including  singer, fisherman and ferryman Johnny Doughty on its wall. Johnny died in the mid-1980s,  but although the publican couldn’t say who was in the picture, I was pleased to find there were still people in the bar who remembered the old fella living in the hamlet and singing in the pub.

There are more photos of the old boy and the ferry, and a host of great images of local beach boats being used and built at the  Rye Harbour website – just enter the terms ‘Doughty’ and ‘boat’ in the search gizmo to find them.

Some time ago I put up a post some time ago explaining the story behind one of the songs most closely associated with Johnny, The Wreck of the Northfleet.

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Above left: the channel to the sea.  I suppose there’s not much call for pilotage
services when the tide’s low. Above right: the River Brede

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Motor launch at a boatyard near Rye. It’s interesting to compare this motor launch
with the one shown in this post

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Can anyone tell us something about this mysterious and interesting boat? Whoever designed it knew where a little extra standing room would cause the least harm to the boat’s sailing qualities

Pilot gig building video

Many of the pilot gigs being raced around the shores of the UK are the work of Ralph Bird. In this very nice BBC RealPlayer video, he talks about the gigs, his life as a gig builder and his plans for a busy retirement. Thanks go to Chris Rogers for letting me know about this one.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/videonation/gig_builder.shtml

For more on the Cornish Pilot Gig Association:
http://www.cpga.co.uk/index.html

The Wikipedia on pilot gigs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_pilot_gig