Tuesday 30 October 2012

You just wouldn't Pt II

But they did.

Superstition has it that to change a boat's name invites bad luck, the logical explanation is that the ship's name was carved into the keel, so to change the name would entail cutting out the old name and carving a new one, all of which might weaken the keel.

In this case I'd take the risk either way.

Also  See Part 1

Saturday 27 October 2012

Lock Gates

Growing up near the Thames we used to visit the locks at Bovney, Bray and Boulters and watch the boats going through. I can just remember in the very early 1960's the old manual wheels which worked the sluice paddles before they were automated, somewhere there's a black and white picture of me as a small child sitting on one of the arms which opened the gates.

It was interesting then, to see some of the old traditional locks in the Netherlands. They are operated by windlass, using chains which pull a boom attached to the lock gates forwards and backwards to open or close. In the top picture there's a third windlass which operated the sluice gate

Here's a close up of one of the gate windlass, the lock has been there for well over 100 years so I'm guessing the windlass is of similar age and is built in typical Dutch decorative style.

Most of England's canal locks are still manually operated so there's plenty of scope for practice. About 20 years ago, I lived in Husband's Bosworth, my Dad at the time was cruising the canals in a narrow boat. Somehow he always seemed to call me when he was at nearby Foxton, where there's a flight of 10 consecutive locks all waiting to be worked!

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Galley Slaves

I got an email from fellow blogger and rower Chris Partridge to say that the Langstone Cutters were bringing a Solent Galley over for a row up the Hamble accompanied by a local boat and some Bursledon rowers, so we rowed to to see them at the Horse and Jockey. These boats are 30 feet in length, built for racing in Portsmouth Harbour and the surrounding area of the Solent, slim, fast, fixed seat rowing boats.

There were a very few other folk out on the river, but with autumn now in full swing it's all pretty peaceful with a complete absence of motorboat wash.

In fact pretty perfect conditions for rowing, flat water, cool but not cold, just the place to enjoy the peace and tranquillity with only the splash of the oars and the call of birds to be heard.

Friday 19 October 2012

Teaching your kids to sail

If there is "anything, absolutely anything so much fun as messing around in boats" then it's surely teaching your kids to have fun on the water. You can't start 'em too young.

And there's no reason why you can't take them when they get a little older, daughter Katy is used to sailing on something a bit more substantial but was having a great time out on the river, ducking the boom and hiking out in the gusts.

While her big brother Duncan who normally gets his speed thrills on 2 wheels had developed a big grin and was clearly enjoying his turn on the helm.

Tuesday 16 October 2012


I guess we would call them whaleboats, but the Dutch seem to have an affinity for these double ended, mostly open boats called collectively Slopen.

In length they seemed to range from around 20 feet right up to this monster which was getting on for 40 feet yet was completely open, the family had erected the full length cover to provide cosy and private overnight accommodation. the welded steel hull looked as if this one might have been a former working boat or even a ship's lifeboat.

This was more typical a modern grp version, many of which were fitted with a low cabin forward. Typical for almost all the boats we saw was the wheel steering, presumably the cost and complication compared to a tiller are thought worthwhile.

A displacement boat ideal for the canals and rivers yet sea worthy and tough enough to take out on the open Ijsselmeer, compared to a modern high speed, deep vee hull form, these boats slip along with hardly any wash and presumably with reasonable fuel economy.

Friday 12 October 2012


Sure is, what a great name.

Has the look of a Kim Holman design, that transom and stern hung rudder remind me of a Stella or Rustler 31, but I could well be wrong, sadly no one around to ask.

Thursday 11 October 2012

Bus Stop

It was a year ago that we found a new breakfast cafe, in fact it's been there for ages but only opens weekdays and Saturday mornings. Having taken a Friday off work we were passing on our way to Netley.

The breakfast was great and we bumped into a sailing couple we last saw after a very nasty, night crossing of Lyme Bay some years ago, during which they lost their fore stay.

Seems like time just runs away with itself these day.

Monday 8 October 2012

Tall Ship

A tall ship making way up Southampton Water on Saturday afternoon, she looks like the STAVROS S NIARCHOS which according to Southampton Port arrivals web site, was due in a couple of days earlier.

I liked the juxtaposition of sailing ship and junior training dinghy, wonder if any of the junior sailors in the foreground will be inspired to sail in tall ships?

Friday 5 October 2012

Harbour Launches

The Cowes harbour team over at Sheppards Wharf are a friendly bunch despite having to manage a crowd of boats all trying to get moorings over a busy summer weekend. This latest addition to the harbour rib then is just the job for keeping one's cool on a hot day.

The other rib is pretty distinctive, I'm not sure of the exact story but it was something like the builder rang up saying he had some off cuts and did they mind different colours as he could do a discount - it's locally called the "Playmobil Rib"