Friday, 18 August 2017


Whenever we pass by this spot on the old Chichester canal near Birdham I'm taken with the tranquillity and peacefulness.

It's like a small retreat, secluded and protected from everything around it, where time can pass slowly.

Monday, 14 August 2017


La Trinite sur Mer is the home of big ocean racing trimarans and we weren't disappointed when we visited.

I can't help thinking of that the yellow one above as the nautical equivalent of a motor bike. Yeah, it might be street legal and it might have room for a passenger, but really it's just meant for going fast.

If I understand correctly this beast was designed by Nigel Irens and Benoît Cabaret. Campaigned by Team Actual, having completed two world tours including a place on the Route du Rhum, she holds  North Atlantic and Trans Mediterranean records, including "several solo or with a crew reduced deckchairs" which probably doesn't translate that well.

Now in the hands of Yves Le Blevec

Don't you just love those cockpits, more aeronautical that nautical, you wouldn't want to fall off one at speed.

Despite being a hull short, I couldn't help admiring this rocket ship, especially the paint job and those wild foils.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Lady Belle

A recent arrival on the river, or at least I hadn't spotted her until recently Lady Belle is a Gaff Yawl built by Harley Mead in Cowes during 1909.

Commissioned by an RCC member with a strong influence from the  Falmouth quay punt.  By the early noughties she was in poor condition but fortunately rescued and restored and now raced regularly in Solent OGA events.

Monday, 7 August 2017

OPEN 5.70

I may have mentioned that I like these Group Finot designed OPEN5.70's

 Nice to see one in the UK

Friday, 4 August 2017

CM25 - a modern Drascombe?

Very interesting French Canadian designed boat the CM25 - the site is in French so a bit of work with google translate might be needed.

At 25 feet it's a much bigger boat that the standard Drascome Lugger which is 18 feet or even the 21 foot coaster and the CM 25 appears to be designed for sail training.

Maybe it could be scaled down slightly, the plus points are the free standing masts, high profile foils and especially the kick up transom mounted rudder which will be welcome by anyone who has struggled with the Drascombe drop in rudder launching or landing in shallows. That asymmetric adds a whole new dimension, should be a lot of fun.

More details

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Dinghy days

There was serious open meeting down at Lymington revently

The wind was probably a little bit too strong but everyone appeared to be having a good time -lots of expensive boats and equipment.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Inflated Ego

Brilliant, clearly some motor boaters do have sense of humour.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Treasure island

The Hamble River SC sail away picnic last weekend was called off due to rain forecast on and off all day, but there was enough of break in the weather to go sailing in the creek.

After a bit of a sail around there was a lot of fun to be had splashing about on the island and then back to the clubhouse for a picnic lunch.

Monday, 24 July 2017


 CAPREOLUS is a Bermudan yawl of carvel construction, mahogany on oak, built by R A Newman & Sons of Hamworthy, Poole to a design that was apparently inspired by the famous Sparkman and Stephens yacht FINESTERRE.

Between 1966 and 1976 she  wore the white ensign in the ownership of  one Major D V Bonsor who was a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron. Subsequent owners made considerable efforts to bring her back to a good condition but she was allowed to fall into neglect.

Fortunately her current owner undertook a restoration which completed in June 2011 when Capreolus was relaunched  after a two and a half year restoration taking 3,500 man hours.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Black Jack - a local connection

It turns out that my friend and local boat builder Greg was responsible for the lovely gaffer Black Jack spotted recently down at Studland.

Greg confirms that she is, as I suspected a Morecombe Bay Prawner, the hull was moulded by Eric Berqvist, who also moulded the Memory which Greg later built at his Salterns yard and the diminutive Winkle Brigs. The moulds were taken from an old motor prawner "Sir William Priestly",

Apparently the mouldings were twisted in the counter so Greg undertook an extensive rebuild having purchased the stripped out the GRP hull and deck from the now long gone Classic Yachts Ltd at the Triangle Boatyard in Bittern. It needed some massive reinforcing with new bulkheads, frames and deck beams to prevent flexing.

Greg then fitted out Black Jack work boat style with an iroko coach roof and internal t&g interior.

Black Jack was fitted with "inherited" sails and spars but as a result was under canvassed, which combined with the shallow draft didn't sail that well.

All that took place about 30 years ago, she was sold to help pay for his studies at the local Warsash college. Black Jack has been since sailed extensively including the channel islands and a spell in Wales before coming back to the Solent and her current home in Keyhaven.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Thames Stroll

My meeting finished at lunch time so I took the opportunity to walk back to the office along the Thames from London Bridge.

I remember going to the London Planetarium as a young child, probably early 1960's the stars were projected above the then London skyline, very different to what we see now with all the high rise additions.

HMS Belfast looking imposing as ever.

It was a good day for boat spotting with this barge alongside the London Bridge pier

The ever changing face of London from the river, church spires used to dominate the skyline, there are still a couple hidden in there.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Local vernacular

Interesting clash of architectural styles are going up in Lymington. These waterfront flats couldn't be more diverse; contemporary brick, mixing with Miami cruise ship, alongside traditional pitched roof with added carbuncle (for want of a better description).

Lucky our local planners are doing such a good job maintaining the spirit and local character,  just think what might have been built.

Monday, 10 July 2017

All secure

I've tried repeatedly to find this in the Ashley Book of Knots but to no avail.

Not sure that it follows conventional dock line etiquette which I've always understood that if some one is already secured, the newcomer should pass their lines underneath and either make a bowline or secure back to the boat.

Friday, 7 July 2017

More Solent Pirates

Spotted down at Lyminghton quay, perhaps smuggling in a load of home brew from the Isle of Wight, while the crew of the Black Puffin stands by ready to escape the revenue.

A close up of the altogether hardy and salty looking crew.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Some boats

Spotted along the Hamble, this grey beast is a bit hard to see - I was taking the photo from the far bank while cycling, must get a closer look when I'm rowing if it's still there.

Classic folk boat on classic colours - doesn't really get much better.

A First 210 like Matilda Emilie, I checked the axis of the picture, the post is absolutely vertical but the boat still appears to be sloping down towards the bow, clearly a camera angle problem.

This ketch is really nice and very well kept.

An old favourite Harrison Butler Yonne, looking fantastic as always.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Ice Warning

You all knew the recent sunny, summer weather wouldn't last,  Eastleigh council did, and they kindly put up these ice warnings.

Clearly no one would be dumb enough to waste money putting up a sign when we only get below freezing a couple of days a year  - would they?

Monday, 26 June 2017

Old Harry

It was an unusually low tide at Studland as I set off to kayak around the Old Harry rocks which are actually chalk formations at Handfast point in Dorset.

The very outer parts are described as a stack and a stump or Old Harry and his wife.

With slack tide and a calm sea it was easy to go right around the point, seen here with Swanage in the distance.

Better still with the tide so low it was possible get up close and see parts which I've never had the opportunity to explore before, like some of the smaller caves and windows. The water was crystal clear.

I imagine this low bank doesn't often break the surface, but it made for a nice resting spot and a good reminder to keep well off when sailing past.

The famous stack, seen from the land side and showing the tidal range, which isn't huge a couple of meters at most.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Black Jack KYC

Anchored out in Studland bay, presumably from Keyhaven Yacht Club, you can just about make out the name in the third picture.

Black Jack has the low rounded stern of a prawner, but perhaps that was just a design influence.

Very pretty from the stern and well kept, lovely.

Monday, 19 June 2017

On a clear day

And the weekend really was, a ketch on a sparkling sea

Below the "Poole navy" rushing off somewhere while the trading ketch takes a more leisurely approach.

Later sailing into the early evening with those magnificent chalk cliffs as backdrop.

Flat calm in the morning sunshine and a super low spring tide, no prizes for guessing how we got around.

Which was just as well since there was no wind and the alternative might have disturbed the peace and quiet.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Hamble Pirates

Piracy on the Hamble has been virtually unknown for a couple of hundred years or so, although there was a spate of outboard motor thefts a few years ago and back in the early noughties, the notorious one legged boat burglar was caught and convicted on unambiguous CCTV  evidence.

Just recently there has been increase in reported sightings of the gentlemen and ladies of fortune.

It started with the Hamble river raid, one of the gig crew left behind no doubt to guard the boat while the others were ashore for some nefarious purpose.

More recently some unsavoury characters were gathered at the slipway over the bank holiday.

Later seen at the top of the creek with fellow pirates proudly displaying the skull and crossbones, presumably a nice quiet spot to hold a pirate council.

Apologies for the bad photos.