Fans of Maurice Griffiths wil be pleased and interested to hear that the original Lone Gull II built in 1961 by Harry Feltham for the legendary designer, writer and magazine editor for his own use is to be restored by A&R Way Boatbuilding of Argyll.
The plan is to keep her as original as possible: the interior is very much as she was built but the deck and deck beams need to be replaced. When finished, she will be used for some family trips around the West Coast and islands before perhaps selling.
For more on Lone Gull II and A&R Way Boatbuilding see this link http://www.aandrwayboatbuilding.co.uk/page/for_sale_lone_gull_ii . While you’re there, do follow the link to Vindilis – another boat built for a legendary designer, this time metacentric shelf theory enthusiast Harrison Butler.
For more on Griffiths, visit the Eventide Owners Group website at http://www.eventides.org.uk and take a peek at this obituary published by The Independent newspaper. Also, Googling for Maurice Griffiths will usually reveal a shed-load of his boats for sale, as some of them were built in large numbers in the UK and beyond.
If you don’t already know it, Moray McPhail’s Classic Marine website is an excellent resource. There’s an extensive catalogue for all the nice bronze and gunmetal bits and pieces that traditional boats require, including a wide range of fittings for rigging, as well as navigation lights, portholes and lamps, rowlocks and the rest, and there are also boat plans from Iain Oughtred.
Classic Marine homepage:
With Christmas coming up, I’d say the navigation and cabin lighting sections are well worth a look for possible presents.
Moray’s site offers more than a fascinating catalogue, however, for he has written a series of essential articles on every detail of a traditional boat’s running and standing rigging hardware. Perhaps the most useful to many will be his article Using Wykeham-Martin Furling gears – an Unofficial Guide.
“The number of boating men who find pleasure merely in sailing a boat is small compared with those who delight not only in handling, but as well in planning, building, improving or ‘tinkering’ generally on their pet craft, and undoubtedly the latter derive the greater amount of pleasure from the sport. They not only feel a pride in the result of their work, but their pleasure goes on, independent of the seasons. No sooner do cold and ice interfere with sport afloat than the craft is hauled up, dismantled, and for the next half year becomes a source of unlimited pleasure to her owner – and a nuisance to his family and friends. We know one eminent canoeist who keeps a fine canoe in his cellar and feeds her on varnish and brass screws for fifty weeks of every year.”
So wrote WP Stephens in the preface to his classic 1889 manual Canoe and Boatbuilding for Amateurs. It was written at a time when the word ‘amateur’ meant something slightly different to what it says to us today, but we probably all recognise the typical boat owner’s compulsion to change and adapt. Go down to anywhere boats are moored on a Saturday morning, and whatever the tide you’ll probably find half of the craft have a happy tinkerer mooching around on board, armed with nuts and bolts, some odd fittings and a tin of varnish. What could be better, apart from actually sailing?
WP Stephens’ book is a fascinating way into the world of sailing canoes in particular, and will make your next trip to a maritime museum showing old canoes much more worthwhile. Perhaps its value lies in the way canoe designers of the time shared their designs in a way that is much less frequent now – the designs laid out in WP Stephens’ book are complete with their offsets and can be built straight off the page.
So I’d encourage you to find any excuse you can to spend an idle hour with an online book that will take you, for free, back to an earlier time: