Friday 19 July 2024

Dinghy sale

Abandoned dinghies being sold off by Lymington Harbour Master

 I've written previously about the English habit of dinghy neglect and looking at these examples they seem to be more suitable for planting flowers, although the one on top right seems to have the best lines and should row well enough.

Gotta think they will be cheap.


Shipstal Point

Hidden away at the far end of a nature reserve is Shipstal point which looks out from the eastern shore over the waters of Poole harbour.


It's one of those places that I've often intended to visit either by boat or from land but for one reason or another have never got around to. From Wareham it's a very pleasant 5 mile cycle ride or walk through the RSPB nature reserve. But for those who must drive there's a car park just under a mile from the beach.

The whole area is carefully managed to ensure it's protected, there were also landing restrictions.

 It's a small but lovely spot, at first glance that could be a manchineel tree on a Caribbean island.

Monday 15 July 2024

Swanage scene

 Mrs BB and I took ourselves off for a few days to the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset to an Air B&B between Corfe and Swanage, for some reason we were drawn into Swanage most days to see what was going on.

Above looking north along the beach to Ballard Down and Old Harry beyond while below the local gig team were out practicing on a Sunday morning.

A different aspect to what is mostly a quiet former Victorian holiday town, both the local pirate and dinosaur were really quite well behaved.

Interesting training method for paddle boards, presumably to gain balance and confidence all the trainees had to stand and then the one at the rear had to crawl through the legs of those standing. They all managed to do it despite a bit of a swell running.

Swanage faces east so is sheltered from the prevailing weather, but the preceding few days with the wind in the east small waves were breaking on the beach.

A new arrival out in the bay searching for a suitable spot to anchor is one of the sail training boats often moored in Hamble.

Local boats on their moorings further out appeared to be none the worse for the recent easterlies.


Friday 12 July 2024


 Redcliff YC occupies a delightful spot on the river Frome a short way downstream of Wareham. Walking along the riverbank path takes one past the moorings with both small and surprisingly large craft safely tucked away upriver and protected by the steep banks on either side.

The club was formed in 1933 which is probably why they occupy such an idyllic position on the river. 

Just downriver from the clubhouse the river opens up slightly on the way to Poole Harbour and has the look of the Norfolk Broads

 Apparently visitors can be accommodated by prior arrangement and presumably restricted by size, but it would be a great destination as part of a Poole cruise with the shops, restaurants and bars in Wareham only a short walk away.

Monday 8 July 2024

Vintage Hydroplanes

Prompted by the hydroplane in a recent post, friend Greg sent me the elevation and plan for this little beauty which although small, around 12 feet overall  could actually carry a passenger and looks to be slightly more seaworthy than many example from the day.

 Apparently a lot of this type of craft were raced at Oulton Broad from just after WW2. Power was typically the Ford 1127cc side vale engine (E93A or 100E?) with no gearbox.

The engines were tuned up for racing. The company making all the go faster engine bits was called Aquaplane also became very successful selling their tuning gear into the car market. In the 1950's and early 60's Ford 10 Specials would have sported Aquaplane heads and manifolds and most of the parts are still being made today!

Friday 5 July 2024

Folkboat Friday

 Or rather folk boat derivative, the Contessa 26.

The story goes that Lymington yacht builder Jeremy Rogers co operated with one of his Folkboat clients David Sadler to design a (then) modern and updated derivative of the Folkboat in GRP. 

The result Contessa of Lymington quickly made a name in racing including round Britain and Transatlantic  races.

The boat continues with a strong class association to the current day.

Monday 1 July 2024

Bridge perspectives

 A few close up observations of the local scene taken from the Itchen bridge.

 This must have been magnificent in her day, pilot hour schooner, guessing around 60 to 70 feet, judging y the rust streaks steel built to go anywhere, lovely lines.

Other eclectic boats finding homes on the Woolstn side, at the rear a couple of river or Norfolk Boards pleasure cruisers and in the fore ground what looks like a converted fishing boat now doing service as a live aboard or weekend cottage.

Looks like this is waiting on some TLC, but a lovely boat for pottering around the Itchen and Soutampton water.

One of three local rowing clubs on the Southampton side, getting ready for some practice sessions.

 And some juniors from SWAC the Southampton Water Activities Centre