Thursday, 24 April 2014

Houseboats at Salterns

The tide had left the creek leading to Salterns Boatyard, leaving the houseboats were sitting high if not exactly dry on the exposed mud.

None of the boats in this small community look to be local rather they all look to have originated in the Netherlands.

Above the characteristic lee boards of a Dutch working craft, and below there's no doubt over the providence of this one, although registered in the Port of London she was built in Utrecht in 1888.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Checking out an Anchorage

Hurst Spit is a long shingle bank which stretches out into the Solent, enclosing and protecting the saltings and channels between Keyhaven and the famous Castle. The narrow and often drying channels are crowned with moorings, but it’s still possible to anchor so back in the depth of winter we took the opportunity to observe the channels at low water and work out the best spots.

There are very few spots like this still left in the Solent but what a great anchorage, imagine waking up on a clear bright morning, nothing around, smell of bacon coming from the galley, we have a spot marked out for a visit later this year.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Motor boats

There are more than a few GRP displacement motorboats like this around, most can be had for not too much money, most have an inboard diesel and would make a comfortable if steady cruiser for the protected waters around the Solent.

If there is one drawback it's probably some of the details, notwithstanding the overall shape of the cabin roof and dog house, details like the rubber fitted windows to me are all too reminiscent of kit cars in the 1960's and 70's (apologies to US readers that particular motoring phenomenon probably and fortuitously passed you by).

None the less a sound little boat.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Delpha's tender

Over in Chichester I spotted this lovely wooden tender.

It's true that she would benefit from some tlc and a varnishing, but despite that her design speaks of  safe and efficient yacht tender, clearly meant for rowing and able to carry a good load.

She is set up for two sets of oars but no sign of sailing rig. That pad for the outboard looks like a later addition.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Sea Kings

A few weeks ago Daughter Katy transferred to the Fleet Air Arm and started her training at HMS Saltern over in Gosport. For those not familiar with the British military the Fleet Air Arm is the navy air force.

After a few years of more general shipboard duties Katy decided to train in aircraft engineering. Families were invited to go along to see the facilities which as well as seeing Katy was an opportunity too good to miss. The tour took us through the workshops have examples of the different helicopters the trainees will be working on.

Not surprisingly most were retired aircraft, like these Sea Kings which were great to go aboard. They are due to go out of service in the next few years and the modern replacements won't have anything like these old dashboard gauges and controls, the flight controls being replaced by computerised and head up displays.

This was an interesting detail the tail including the rotor assembly fold for more effective storage aboard ships. At the top of the body section you can see a transmission coupling which takes power from the main engines to the tail rotor which is a nice reminder of how vital these components and their maintenance is.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Mud Moorings

We have some great natural harbours and sheltered creeks around the Solent, but with the big tidal range so much is exposed as wet mud twice a day, putting deep water moorings at a premium.

There are still plenty of mud berths or half tide moorings, but there in lies the problem, for half the time you can't actually get to and from your boat and when you can you have a limited time to sail or you have to stay away until the following tide come back.

A shore side mooring at the top of a creek is somewhat better since you can get to and from your boat at any time for loading or repairs even if you can't sail. Below the moorings at Dolphin Quay in Emsworth are also nicely located close to the town for shopping and some comfortable nearby pubs while you wait for the tide to return.

This is perhaps the ideal solution if you can find one and afford one, a creekside property where you can keep your boat at the end of the garden.

Friday, 4 April 2014

The barge

This boat has been around since the end of last summer. Intuitively it would seem to be more at home on the Canal du Midi rather than the tidal waters of the Hamble.

It's certainly going to provide spacious and luxurious accommodation, one can imagine sitting out on that huge fore deck on a balmy evening in the South of France, but if that is the intended destination some of that highly polished stainless steel might have a hard time going up and down the locks.