One of the treats of the Beale Park Thames Boat Show was seeing one of John Macaulay’s traditional Hebridean skiffs full of old-fashioned boatbuilding features.
Note the short floors and ribs, for example – they’re very much what one sees in a Viking ship or Viking canoe. What’s more, the oarlocks and oars obviously belong to a time before the fashion for adopting rowing racing practice brought in round oars in round oarlocks capable of being rotated.
For an earlier post on Macaulay, click here.
This interesting article sheds light on the man himself: John Mcaulay Boatbuilder. Of the virtues of wooden boats he says: ‘There is only one boat worth having and that is a wooden boat. They are unique; one off and beautiful. How anyone with any sensitivity could choose a plastic hull over a wooden one made by hand, I will never know.’
Here’s another newspaper piece in the Stornaway Gazette describing the restoration of a Western Isles boat.
Subscribe to our free weekly email newsletter below to make sure you don’t miss anything good!
One exhibit at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show made the case that the recently deceased designer Phil Bolger should be remembered for his very pretty boats as well as his boxy easy-to-build plans.
This is an almost-complete Bolger Chebacco boat, as built by an ex-student of theBoat Building Academy down at Lyme, Connie Mense. I think it’s a terrific-looking craft and that Connie has made a very nice job of building it. The boat was on the Water Craft stand because editor Peter Greenfield is currently building a Chebacco boat from the same moulds.
There are precious few Bolger boats in the UK and I’m always interested in them, so when it’s on the water, can Julie and I come for a sail please Pete?
PS – Don’t miss the ad for Water Craft in the right-hand column of this weblog. It’s well worth a subscription!
I fouled up badly at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show: my mistake was to believe the weather forecast and went to the show on the day it rained most.
On the following day it was supposed to rain from dawn to dusk – but instead the sun shone – I’ve seen photos to prove it. Every sailor, gardener, farmer, camper and boat show organiser has had the same kind of experience, and all one can do is smile and make the best of it, which in my case meant taking a lot of photos of gently rain-spattered boats and people.
I’ll be putting a lot more shots from the show up over time, but I thought I’d surprise the folks who came to the show to sell this splendid 1902 Thames skiff by putting up some shots of their boat – and perhaps helping them to find a buyer.
I told them I’d do it, but like so many others they were sceptical. I think they imagined I needed to be paid – but I don’t and it’s not in my plan. Give me a good story or some pics or both and I’ll put them up, though if they’re not, I won’t. Even if this site someday becomes truly commercial, I doubt I’ll ever want to charge contributors money for providing information for a good post.
Don’t miss something good – subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.