27ft Thames skiff for sale

Sharon Day has been in touch with these photos and some information about an old It measures 27ft Thames skiff she’s selling.

The maker’s unknown, but it is thought to have been an Eton College boat, and is dated 1912.

It’s built in mahogany and was found in the loft of the Green Jack brewery at Oulton Broad. The bottom has had 6-7 new planks, and a coaming and decking was added for the Great River Race, but this is said to be easily removable and does not affect the original structure.

It was originally two-oared but has been adapted to four oars, but again it still has the original parts including footboards, rolling seatsa and outriggers, and could returned to its original arrangement.

The skiff competed in The Great River Race between 1997 and 2002, but has been unused and stored in a barn since then.

A trailer is included, and the boat would have to be collected from Hingham in Norfolk.

If anyone’s interested, please drop me a line at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll pass the message on to Sharon.

BBA students build a traditional Thames skiff

Photos by Jenny Steer, Becky Josepth and Derek Thompson

The Boat Building Academy’s spring student launch at Lyme included this traditional clinker-built Thames skiff built by students Lawrence Shillingford and Brooke Ricketts.

Rosina May made a glamorous first public appearance, as she was decorated with gold balloons tied on by Lawrence’s friends.

Traditionally built in clinker mahogany on oak, 21ft Rosina May is based on a Hobb’s skiff as featured in the classic book Working Boats of Britain – Their Shape and Purpose by Eric McKee.

The design evolved from larger Thames Wherries which carried fare-paying passengers.

Lawrence spent a lot of his early years either on or beside the Thames. He now rows Cornish pilot gigs with Weymouth Gig Club. He wanted to combine rowing with a traditional Thames design, and says the skiff almost chose itself for the project.

Rosina May was modified to a single rowing position. It features moulded detailing typical of this type of boat and a decorative mahogany and oak sunburst design on the seat back and rudder.

Originally from Twickenham but now living in Bridport, Lawrence joined the course to learn new skills after a 30 year career in the London Fire Brigade.

From Maryland, Brooke worked for Inter-Rail Transport USA for 10 years before deciding to have a career change.

With a love of boats he started an apprenticeship at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and wanting to develop his skills further he relocated to Dorset with his family to join the Academy.

Since graduating, Brooke has returned to the museum to complete his apprenticeship and Lawrence is starting a small boat building and restoration business in the Bridport area.

Lawrence says the journey through the course from knowing virtually nothing to having completed this project, learning from mistakes along the way, has given him the confidence to take on new solo projects.

See the Thames skiff’s build diary here.

Thames rowing skiff built by Stirling & Son

Stirling & Son 12ft Thames rowing skiff Impulse Stirling & Son 12ft Thames rowing skiff Impulse Stirling & Son 12ft Thames rowing skiff Impulse

Thames rowing skiff by Stirling & Son

This very handsome little boat is a Thames rowing skiff built recently by Devon-based Stirling & Son. As usual, click on the images for much larger photos, including the lower-middle shot showing the boat’s gold leaf detail.

Will Stirling is a great historian, so I don’t doubt it’s an accurate example of the type, and I gather the new boat’s owners are keeping her on the Thames at Henley. I’ve a half-cooked plan to get over that way this week, so will look out for her from the water if I get the opportunity.

Also new from Stirling & Son is the 12ft pulling boat named Impulse – see the photos below.

Stirlings will be at the Southampton Boat Show, and plan to display a pulling boat and a 14ft sailing dinghy.

The 14ft dinghy is currently on the drawing board, but will be of mahogany on oak with copper and bronze fastenings, bronze fittings, spruce spars and clipper canvas sails with traditional ash blocks. However, boatbuilding will have to wait – as Will himself is in North West Passage skippering a BBC camera boat for an attempt by explorer Jock Wishart to row to the Magnetic North Pole to highlight the extent of ice depletion in the Arctic.

Stirling & Son offer traditional yacht building and wooden boat repair and are based in Tavistock. Contact Will via the website or call 01822 614259.

Stirling & Son 12ft Thames rowing skiff Impulse

Stirling & Son 12ft Thames rowing skiff Impulse Stirling & Son 12ft Thames rowing skiff Impulse Stirling & Son 12ft Thames rowing skiff Impulse 

12 ft pulling boat by Stirling & Son