The Beale Park Thames Boat Show is this weekend – so try not to miss it!

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Beale Park Thames Boat Show

Photo courtesy of the Beale Park Thames Boat Show organisers

Motor cruiser and Wharram catamaran at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show

Contrasting boats on the water at the Beale Park Thames Boat
Show – an elderly motor cruiser and a Wharram catamaran.
Thanks to boatbuilder Fabian Bush for the photo

Falmouth quay punt drawn by Percy Dalton

A newly discovered Percy Dalton drawing of a Falmouth quay punt
found by the folks at boating booksellers Dalton Young

Earlier today I found myself reflecting that quite a few of the people who contribute to are likely to be at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show this weekend. Naturally we’re planning to be there on Saturday and looking forward to meeting as many of them as possible.

I’d encourage any reader who can get there to make the trip as well. For boat building and boat restoration enthusiasts, part of the success of Beale Park is that it’s a show that works on many levels.

Those who admire exquisite craftsmanship will find it, while those who need to be encouraged to build their first simple plywood boat will find that as well.

There are also stalls selling recycled bits of boats and old books, cut-price chandlery, smart bronze bits and pieces, top-quality hardwoods and plywood, sophisticated glues and resins. And then there are the sociable membership organisations. The Eventide Owners, the Dinghy Cruising Association and the rest, are all there to talk with show visitors, and they’re easily interesting enough to make for an interesting conversation.

But on second thoughts perhaps I won’t be able to stand and talk for too long – after all, I’ll be making sure my camera is full of photographs to keep this weblog going through the winter months!

Biche – France’s last sailing tuna fisherman

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Sailing French tunny fisherman Biche

Biche, the last sailing French tuna fishing boat is scheduled
to be relaunched in two years.

Googling around for Parisian boat-related material led me to the website of Les Amis du Biche – a society devoted to restoring and relaunching the historic sailing tuna fisherman. The grand old boat is due to be back in the water by 2010, and from the photos there has been a lot of work to do.

I’d also draw readers’ attention to the quaintly entertaining name on the side of the crane. This kind of light-hearted humour seems to happen around these machines: the crane that’s about to put our little boat in the water proclaims itself to be an Iron Fairy. It’s obviously been around long time, but I gather they are still available if you want to buy one – though the more convenient Matchbox toy version is apparently a rarity .

I was entertained by this ingeniously made video appealing for new supporters for the Biche project.

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