Wednesday 30 January 2013

Motor Sailor

I've always had a soft spot for these small motor sailors, I think this one is a Colvic Watson which has perhaps become something of a miss used generic name for the type, The IP24 is similar and of course there is the Fisher range, all in their way seaworthy little craft.

Sailing performance is going to be competent at best, although reading some of the forum comments, it may well be better than expected. The forte might be pushing a foul tide, hard on the wind with a heavy duty diesel pushing you along in relative comfort in the wheelhouse, giving a friendly wave to the yacht crew sitting on the wet rail as you pass.

The hull shape is like a whaleboat, heavy displacement and voluminous, plenty of room even in the 23 foot version which I guess this is (apologies if it's a 26 footer), great views from the wheel house - saloon. With a nice heater you can wear your regular clothes in all but the worst condition. All in all a nice weekend retreat.

Friday 25 January 2013

Classic Yawl

This lovely classic yawl is Giselle of Iken, a John Alden design, number 949KK, built in 1962 by Halmatic - GRP hull and wooden coach roof.

LOA is 38 feet, beam 11 feet and draft with the center board up a mere 4 feet. The Alden web site says that the name was changed to "Virtuous and Evil" so presumably a later owner has changed her back to the original name.

Saturday 19 January 2013

One fine day

While we're in the grip of Arctic conditions with warnings of more snow and ice to come, lets not forget  what it's like when the sun breaks through on a clear crisp winter's day. The sort of day when you need to grab your coat, get out and make the most of it, blow away the cobwebs, a day which lifts the spirits.

Even late morning the sun is low in the sky casting a warm light over the low tide  mud.

Down in the marina a couple of gaffers which looked to have come in for the winter. The black one is a Colin Archer type, double ended, broad of beam, a serious, go anywhere cruising boat.

Oh well, back to shovelling snow, got to get the drive clear or we can't get the car out.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

What a difference a year makes

A year ago we were down at Keyhaven in the western Solent having a great time sliding along on the frozen puddles and enjoying the unusual winter seascape.

Temperatures had dropped severely overnight leaving the saltings with a thick coating of ice.

Fast forward to this year which in the brief intervals between the rain has been mild and very pleasant.

With temperatures over 10 degrees Celsius some of the local wildlife were behaving as if Spring had arrived.

That of course was before the present cold spell started!!

Saturday 12 January 2013

Painting Jolie Brise

I rowed past Jolie Brise couple of weeks ago, she was in a marina in Hamble being prepared for a new coat of paint.

The weather has been quite fair and mild for the past week or which has hopefully helped the work.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Window shopping?

I pass by this launch on my morning run,  it would probably  be described as a runabout with it's design rooted in the late 1950's or early 60's. It looks like plywood construction and none the worse for that, with a vee bottom hull form she looks to be smooth riding and seaworthy. You can imagine the throaty roar of a big capacity inboard engine with plenty of power to get you where you want to go, not especially "green" in these environmentally obsessed days but a lot of fun.

In my mind it has elegant proportion and line, lacking in ornamentation, giving it a timeless, functional beauty.

If I were in the market for a motorboat something like this would be on the short list.

Saturday 5 January 2013

Dolphin Quay

Tucked away at the top of a tiny creek just off the town centre in Emsworth, Dolphin Quay has been one of those rare places, a traditional old working boat yard with a collection of interesting, mostly wooden boats, many in various stages of restoration or in a few cases decay.

Sadly the incumbent shipwright Tim Gilmore who had operated from the site since 1996 was given notice by the landlord and has relocated his company to nearby Birdham Pool Marina.

It seems all too likely that the yard will be developed into waterside houses and apartments  but speaking to a berth holder I learned that the moorings, the slipway and the creek are owned and operated by Chichester Harbour Conservancy and there is an intention to maintain those facilities and that any development will have to provide access for boat owners.

Something similar happened with the adjacent development (on the right below) a public footpath and right of way  is maintained through an arched courtyard which gives access to the path alongside slipper pond, one of the old tide mill ponds in Emsworth.

It would be good if the development of Dolphin Quay can be accomplished while still retaining the moorings as an active boating facility and place of enjoyment and attraction for the town.

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Caen Classis

Close by what remains of the medieval centre of Caen is the "vieux port"which dates back to the 16th century and is connected to the sea at Ouistreham some 15 kilometres away.

Today the vieux bassin is no longer a working port and is largely given over to tourism and as a marina, however down at the southern end an area has been made available for classic boats.

With my lack of French it was difficult to understand exactly, but from what I could tell the city authorities were supporting a society and owners of classic boats by offering the use of the old working quay in an effort to help preserve the local maritime tradition.

It was very much a working environment and low budget, this classic boat was clearly past restoration, but the cut through hull had been labelled so that visitors could identify the parts of the construction, framesn stringers, keelson etc.

The area is very pleasant with bars, restaurants and the local market attracting tourists, the society too had made and effort to make the area interesting.

Of course not all the exhibits were showcase standard, things are clearly operated along the lines of  a working museum and non the worse for that.

Several interesting craft were afloat, the one above showing the classic lines that are recognisable in traditional French inshore craft from the channel ports.

Larger and typical of the Brittany lobster boats with this characteristic raked stern, it's good to see these classic boats being cared and maintained in a semi working environment.