Friday, 20 April 2018

Cycle lanes and pains

We were up in the Rothaar Mountainsm of Germany over Easter, which are some low mountains and the source of the Seig river, running past the village where we were staying and down to the Rhine.

 There was a fantastic cycle track alongside the Seig, which running along the valley was more or less flat. We rode interrupted for 20KM along the beautiful river,  safely away from traffic, on a smooth tarmac cycle way and foot path which put's our local cycle paths to shame.

We had a good collection of bikes to choose from, unfortunately I didn't read the "No Compression" label until well into the ride. The German's tend to be very factual and this was no exception - ouch!

Fortunately recovery didn't take too long aided by the local Weissbier in the local beer garden.

With apologies to those at home who had rather more rain over the Easter holiday, I guess it all comes down to land mass, there were a few cold days and it was COLD but when the sun came out it was 22 degrees plus even in the mountains, lovely.

Monday, 16 April 2018


I wonder if this is a comment about the owner or maybe that he's had 6 other boats?

Gotta love motorboat names.

Thursday, 12 April 2018


In early or late season, and certainly the day the photos were taken, the warm comfy cabin of a motorboat really appeals, even more so if the cabin of surrounded by the varnished teak of this classic and immaculately kept and presumably restored motor launch.

I got distracted and didn't make a note of the name. The stern was classic boat tail which suggests a slippery displacement hull.

Seen at Port Solent on a cold day in March.

Monday, 9 April 2018


One of those coincidences, I was watching My Classic Boat about an unusually rigged yacht Boleh one evening and a couple of days later cycling through the Chichester marina noticed the very distinctive quadruple mast.

The story of Bole is very interesting, designed and built after the war in Singapore the unusual design was influenced by the dhows, junks and intended to be at her best in ocean trade winds.

A sliding gunter rig is supported by a sort of pylon and uses a wishbone boom. There's a lot of information on the Boleh Trust website .

Friday, 6 April 2018

Try and make it out on the water this weekend

Sadly we're on our way back from the low mountains to the east of Bonn in Germany so won't be following that advice.

March has been a frustrating month with some nice sunny, if very cold days during the week and then snow or rain or high winds at the weekends, lets hope April is better.

Monday, 2 April 2018


She looks like shes going flat out just carefully pottering up the river, although with an 8 foot draft I think I'd be proceeding rather cautiously.

Aeolus is an extreme plank on edge gaff topsail cutter similar in concept to the designs of GL Watson at the beginning of the 20th century, narrow beam, deep draft with slack bilges, long keel, internal lead ballast  and an excessive sail plan.

Saturday, 31 March 2018


We went aboard Brilleau twenty years ago when Erica and I had just returned from the Caribbean and were still living aboard Blue Clipper and trying to get back into a normal working life. She was built buy the owner, who was I recall a local GP to a design by Nick Skeates.

I though she was one of the best offshore cruising boats I'd ever been on, small by modern standards at only 32 feet, the design and construction are so practical and effective for short handed, offshore sailing.

I might be confusing this boat as it was a longtime ago, but I think the enormous hatch was so a small motorbike could be stored in the fore peak.

A few years ago we were sitting outside Dartmouth Castle looking at the vista as Brilleau sailed effortlessly through the spectacular Dart entrance.

Monday, 26 March 2018

A little light humor

This always makes me smile when I row past.

Friday, 23 March 2018


Satellite is new to the river, I though perhaps it might be that I haven't been rowing much during the bad weather, but I found the build blog which is a great read, and she has indeed just been launched

She's a Gollant Gaffer designed by Robert Dongray, who is famous for the original Cornish Crabber and many boats in their range including my own Cormorant "Tosh".

The Gollant Gaffer, presumably named after the village up the Fowey River is a lovely pocket cruiser, day sailer, although I recall one owner made an epic voyage across Europe I think to the Bosphorus.

Congratulations to the builder (sorry can't find his name on the blog) I'm sure she's going to be lots of fun.

There's a nice one for sale on brokerage with Wooden Ships.

Length on Deck 18’9″
Length Waterline 17’9″
Beam 7′
Draft 2’9″
Displacement 1500kg

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Somewhere ....

...over the rainbow.

Just occasionally you're in the right place at the right time, possibly with the wrong camera, but two out of three ain't bad.

Friday, 16 March 2018


Hamble One Design spotted for sale over in Emsworth and looking very nice. the classs was I believe built by Luke & Sons in their yard just upriver from the Royal Southern YC.

For sale and for a 105 year old boat not looking bad. Apparently the lines and construction drawings of Jess an HOD  including description appeared in Yachting Monthly, June 1913 page 165 if you can find a copy.

A little hard to read, she's called Dulcie. With those lines and deep keel I imagine she's a delight to sail in the often choppy Solent waters.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Birdham gaffers

I always like to cycle through Bridham Pool boat yard in Chichester harbour as there are inevitable a few interesting boats around or even for sale.

Calumet if one such example, designed and built by McMillan Yachts in the 1990's she has undergone an extensive restoration by Tim Gilmore's Dolphin Quay Boatyard and is looking fantastic.

On the same pontoon is the curiously named Black Lady, a well known classic 1948 gaff rig cutter, built by Birdham Shipyard of pitch pine on oak frames below water, mahogany above water. Despite the name she looks fine with blue topsides.

OK not a gaffer but an interesting classic from Malden on the east coast and up for sale.

Friday, 9 March 2018


Get afloat aboard your own yacht for £500.

The 19 foot Prelude is by all accounts a nice little pocket yacht, designed by Ian Proctor and originally built by Ridgeway Marine and later by Pegasus, they were one of many small yachts designed and built in the 1970's. Inevitably at 19 feet it would be wise to choose weather carefully and reef early, but at £500 this would make someone a great little day boat or weekend cruiser for not a lot of money.

Principal Dimensions
LOA 19'3'' (5.86m)
LWL 17'0'' (5.18m)
Beam 6'10 (2.09m)
Weight: Approx. 750 Kg (1650 Lbs)

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Seasonally adjusted

Well that was an interesting few days, the previous weekend had been warm, sunny, with daffodils coming up and all the signs of spring around the corner.

The next moment we're plunged into a very cold, few days, culminating with heavy snow - or at least heavy snow for this part of the world.

We last had snow like this in 2010, so for Joseph it was the first chance to get out and have fun with the sledge that's been hanging up in the garage since he was very young.

Not so good for drivers, the A27 was grinding to a halt not long after this picture was taken. Not as bad as previously when the road was closed with abandoned and stranded cars, but pretty bad until the snow plough came out.

The foreshore at Swanwick hard looking very festive, if a couple of months late.

The sudden cold snap was caused by some strong and very cold easterly winds which have been described in the press as "the beast from the east" or "hysteria from Siberia" whichever almost as soon as the snow was down things started to warm up again.

On Sunday morning this is all that's left of the giant snowballs Joseph and I rolled in the garden.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Early season 2

Inevitably following a sunny and bright Saturday, Sunday was grey and drab but with the temperature heading upwards we decided to break out the bikes and cycle along the Saltern trail around Chichester harbour.

There was a good turn out at Chichester Yacht Club with Lasers, Toppers and a few Aero's getting out on to the water

As I put the bikes away in the garage I looked guiltily at Tosh laying barricaded behind other boats, under a pile a camping equipment packed away for the winter. I had planned to strip and varnish her mast but work, life and other things got in the way.

Must make a bigger effort to get out on the water soon.

Sunday, 25 February 2018


Who would have thought that Bursledon would have it's very own music festival? Well it does and it was great event with a great line up of musicians playing to a packed village hall throughout the day and evening.

Below playing in the afternoon singer songwriter Dlugokecki who also brought this young kids along, presumably to make sure there was a keen audience, which was there was in any case. CD's were on offer for the cost of a donation to Naomi House charity, of which we have one, it's very good.

Joseph has been paying guitar for just over a year now, so we though it would be a great opportunity to see some live bands and it was, he really liked the guitar playing, especially local blues musician Pete Harris and his song about the I Phone Blues "put down that iphone and pay some attention to me.e.e.."

Above the Southampton Ukulele Jam were frankly brilliant, loads of audience participation, playing some interesting arrangements of some favourites including - Just Can't get Enough, Come Up and See ME (Make Me Smile). Joseph came home asking if could have a ukulele.

There may or may not have been some celebrities playing and Elvis Costello may or may not have been playing with the Ukulele Jam.

Put in in you diary for next year.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Early season

In colder climates they call it frostbiting, but here on the southern coast of the UK things rarely get that cold, but with a sunny Saturday in prospect it was good to see a few boats out even if there was little wind.

Not just dinghies there were more than a few early season yachts out despite the absence of wind.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018


Our local authority has erected this ugly and presumably expensive fence around the WW2 Bofors anti aircraft gun emplacement on the foreshore of Southampton water by Hamble Point.

The notice explains that the emplacement has become dangerous, although made of reinforced concrete and having survived 70 odd years since the war I would like to understand why remedial repairs were not made rather that put up this hideous fence which denies access to what is an important local landmark from the war years.

Interestingly only a few yards away the footpath is badly eroded and even falling down in places, yet the council for whatever reason don't appear to consider this a danger, or maybe it will suit them to close the path for several months as they did for the path along the Hamble.

I feel doubly aggrieved that the council should waste a significant amount of our taxes on what is an ugly and unnecessary eyesore while at the same time demonstrating inconsistency over safety and access to the common.

As a PS they need to update the information board to say it can now only be seen by peering through an ugly fence.

Monday, 19 February 2018

New boat

Not my boat,  we were admiring this wooden sloop on the inner pontoon at Hamble Point and then shortly after bumped into a friend in the village who has just bought her.

We didn't have enough time to find out much about the boat, she's about 26 feet, but I've been promised a sail, so looking forward to that. Watch this space.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Ultimate 20

I was having a cup of tea at the cafe in Hamble on Sunday morning when this sports boat went past, thinking it looked familiar I went back trough some old post and sure enough the name Redrow came up from a holiday in Fowey a few years ago.

Looking none the worse for her partial sinking and rescue by the Fowey lifeboat back in 2014, Redrow is an Ultimate 20 which I have to say looks like a fun boat.

The design called for a monohull with multihull performance, which offers a dry and stable platform with safe interior space for kids or crew. It is also lightweight and  trailerable, with dinghy like responsive and handling, oh and all that  with the cockpit comfort of a 30 footer which is a pretty compelling package.

Ultimate 20 Class Association.

LOA: 20 feet, 10 inches LWL: 18 feet Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches Draft - keel down: 5 feet Draft - keel up: 9 inches Displacement: 1,260 pounds

Monday, 12 February 2018

Hidden gem

Spotted on the pontoon at Hamble Point, sadly what looks like two J70's were in the way.

If the weather is nice this weekend I'm going to row down and see if she's still there so I can take a few pics from the water. Gotta love that clipper bow.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Cold harbour ferry

Walkers and cyclists hunkered down for a cold and breezy river crossing, makes me feel chilly just looking at this photo, roll on spring.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Sailing Sunday

Sunday dawned bright but with a brisk north easterly but despite that there were more than a few folks out sailing. Out a cat head a bunch of Opi's doing some race training.

The Warsash dinghy fleet were getting ready for a lively start in the river.

But there was a bit more room as the single handed fleet started to gather..

A down wind start, the front runners got their asymmetric's up just after the gun, heading for Southampton water.

By there time the gun went for the single-handed fleet there was a good mix of Toppers and Lasers.

Further upriver the local Foxers were well into their race, as we passed the dinghy park we chatted to a friend who had had an early swim and hadn't made the start, he looked freezing.

We came home feeling as if we should be making more effort to get out frostbiting, but then again we came home, lit the fire and decided that a fresh walk was good enough.