Meeting a chance to save Standard Quay?

Save Standard Quay and Faversham Creek

Faversham Creek campaigners are calling on supporters to attend a public local engagement meeting at at Faversham’s Alexander Centre at 7pm on Tuesday 15th March in at attempt to persuade planners not to swamp the town  with new developments.

‘Come to the meeting and make sure the planners understand that developers are not wanted,’ says campaign spokesperson Sue Cooper of Standard Quay.

‘Faversham has the skills itself to regenerate the creek as has been amply shown at Standard Quay. It is no coincidence that during the past 20 years the only part of Faversham Creek that has seen regeneration, new employment creation and substantial silt removal is Standard Quay. We just need Swale to stand up to the developers.’

A petition to save maritime jobs and skills at the threatened boatyard at Standard Quay has already attracted local, national and international support with 1,200 signatures.

Supporters are now preparing to voice their concerns at Swale Borough Council’s Local Engagement Forum at Faversham’s Alexander Centre at 7pm on Tuesday.

‘It is time to say no more,’ says Sue Cooper.

Campaigners fear Faversham is in danger of being ‘sold down the river’ by a council hungry for developers’ cash. They fear pleas to save skilled jobs at the town’s last working traditional boatyard are being ignored, while Swale seeks ‘developer contributions’ towards plans likely to kill off creekside industry.

Cooper argues the council is looking to raise money through ‘developer contributions’ or ‘local infrastructure levies’, which she says are unlikely to benefit the town even half as much as the£500,000 the campaign says was generated on the Quay in the past year, and won’t replace the tourism and other spin-offs, such as photographs, postcards and paintings depicting Standard Quay that are sold all over the world.

The plans won’t regenerate the Creek she says, but will lead to ‘real mud and nails employment’ being lost to the town.

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Drawings for making a model of the sailing version of the 12 Ella skiff

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Ella skiff model drawing

At last – here’s a set of drawings for building a model of the sailing version of the 12ft Ella skiff. Full drawings are to come when I’ve written my usual builders’ blurb…

The pdfs in the download below (fixed now – sorry for any inconvenience) are all the same size and – if this works out as it should – when printed out everything should be in the same scale on paper. Model-makers should then be able to use the printouts as templates to create a 1/12 or so scale model, including spars and sails.

One point that may not be obvious and which I haven’t explained is that included in the drawings are four panels whose purpose may not be obvious. In fact, these attach to the side decks, frames and bottom immediately before and aft of the central thwart. They’re intended to add some low-down bouyancy in a knockdown, and help to keep the amount of retained free water to a minimum on righting.

Have fun… If you do build the model, I would be delighted to advise if you get stuck, and would be most grateful for photos please!

Ella skiff sailing version model

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Edwin Schoettle on catboats, Gavin Atkin on what’s wrong with yachts and yachties

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Legendary catboat Silent Maid

Edwin Schoettle’s classic Sailing Craft published in 1928 is a fabulous big old book of nearly 800 pages – so I hope no-one will mind me posting a few of them. And perhaps my post will serve to keep the memory alight.

I’d like to explain why I’ve been thinking about the catboat lately.

I’ve complained for years that many yachties  motor or motor sail for much of the time and I’ve often wondered what the reason might be. Well, I’ve come to think that it isn’t laziness or a dislike of sailing. The reason why they’re reluctant to use their full sailplan is that they’re either sailing alone, or effectively doing so, and don’t want the fag of having to manage sails, winches and sheets as well as steer, navigate and keep a look out.  And because they’re not using their full sail plan their boats are slow without the help of its engine – and that’s why most yachties motor for much of the time.

Looked at another way, it’s because we’re using the wrong rigs.  Instead of the Bermudan sloop with a masthead rig, big foresail, winches and the rest, we could be using rigs that reduce the number of essential control lines to very few – the cat and the cat yawl.

Of course there’s a shortage of cat yawls outside of a few designers offering plans for relatively small boats aimed at the amateur builders, so I’ve been considering the experiences people have had with the catboat.

I’ve no experience with these boats and have no firm opinions to offer, but it’s interesting that Schoettle emerges as such a fan of the catboat. I’m inclined to think a modified form of catboat, perhaps one with the kind of capacious hull that’s long been normal in family cruising boats could be seriously useful to yachtsmen in the era of expensive fuel and growing environmental awareness.

Those who find it difficult to swallow the idea of the Bermudan sloop being replaced by a more old fashioned rig might thinking about the argument in a different way – instead of describing the cat or cat yawl rig of the future as being derived from historical yacht types or workboats, just think of them as big Lasers with heavy keels.

Read more about Silent Maid in a recent post at the weblog 70.8%.

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