Thursday 17 October 2013

Clinker dinghy

While having breakfast down on the quay the other day we watched this rather nice clinker built dinghy being launched. It looks to be around 16 feet and big in volume with high sheer and bows is clearly a very capable, stable, load carrier.

There are two rowing stations which would balance the crew load along the boats length. With the weight of an outboard on the transom a tiller extension would be a good idea moving the crew weight forward, bringing the bows down into the water.


  1. Any kind of clinker built boat is alright by me.... The trim could easily be sorted with the proverbial bag of sand in the bow!

  2. Better yet, the trim could be sorted out by sitting in the middle of the boat and rowing it as God intended....

  3. It is a 1965 LH Walker Tideway 14 mahogany on oak tender. The Tideway12 is a much better known iteration of the same design as many of those were sold with a sliding gunter sailing rig and centreplate- as the Tideway 12 foot dinghy class. In my defence, in the last photo I am reaching forward for the tiller extension that I am about to fit.
    It is said that Lew Walker (in Leigh on sea, Essex) was the most prolific builder of clinker boats in the 60s- almost up to production line levels- about 10 boats per week at times I have been told. Many of the other makers went to GRP- the new wonder material and he was one of very few builders left still doing them in wood- so demand was still quite high- they carried on until 1979/80. Despite the high levels of production the quality of finish was and is very good and the mahogany available in the 1960s was still pretty good stuff.
    I bought the boat from the son of the guy who had it from Walkers from new. It came with the Seagull engine that it was originally specified with. He looked after it very well, including sinking it off the beach with bags of shingle for a few tides at the beginning and end of each season. To my shame, since taking it on one of the topside planks has shrunk, stored in the sun on the hard at Hamble, and I have had to epoxy it up. It will deteriorate further and I'm hoping to find undercover storage for it or might eventually reluctantly sell it to somebody who can provide a better home for it. I bought it about 3 years ago from a boathouse on the beach at West Wittering where it had resided its whole life. It just needed a revarnish and putting back in the water.
    In answer to Chris' comment about rowing it, it's a little fat at the back end to make it anything other than slow and heavy- designed from the beginning for sails or engine. Although the eagle eyed viewer may see that I have fitted small outriggers to take the span out to 165cms, making it suitable for a pair of Suttons wooden sculling blades I use with it.

  4. you are dead right, a 14` walker oh they where the best clinker boats around, my granddad had a new one when I was 10, cry every time I see a nice clinker boat 40 years on , time dose not heal


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