Monday 31 October 2016

Green Houseboats

Continuing the French theme, we couldn't visit Paris without walking along the Seine to take in some of the boats. You can't get more central than the Port des Champs Elysees, the most exclusive, grand and undoubtedly expensive area of Paris, yet in admirable French character, the river bank marina has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site which houses some delightful houseboats.

 What an address and with views of the Eiffel Tower, good on the French and shame on our local authority who have recently supported the eviction of some of the old established Hamble houseboats.

Nice to see the residents of Port des Champs Elysees taking environmental issues so seriously, there were wind generators, solar panels gardens and even a living green roof.

Saturday 29 October 2016

Morbihan Boats 3

Back in Le Trinite Sur Mer again, it was an opportunity to check out a few more boats and visit a rather good bakery/cafe. I love the sloping transom on this classic ketch and the rather jolly paint scheme.

This was a real treat for us lovers of varnished boats, and slightly depressing as my efforts with the best badger brushes never come close to this standard.

Someone is probably going to tell me it's not a Flying Fifteen, maybe the class was popular in France or maybe it's a local boat - happy to hear from anyone who knows what she is?

Not much doubt about the provenance of this one, lovely, from the days before ridiculously fast catamarans became ubiquitous.

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Morbihan Boats 2

More Morbihan boats, a very pretty little cruiser.

Interesting sheer on that gaff sloop in the background. The fishing boat in foreground is very well turned out and looks very picture postcard cute. Almost makes me want to take up fishing.

This looks tobe a long way from home, either is or is very like a Heard 23 or 28, built in Mylor by Gaffers and Luggers

A traditional boat and matching dinghy in Auray

Another traditional local boat, bluff bows,high free board with a good carrying  capacity.

Sunday 23 October 2016

Morbihan Boats 1

Things have been busy of late, so while we are actually in France, we're not in the Gulf of Morbihan , but we were back in the summer, so I thought we'd catch up a bit.

The Morbihan is just a great place to sail, admittedly the tides can be a little fearsome, but in terms of scenery the inland sea peppered with islands is hard to beat.

Below on a sunny Sunday a traditional yawl heads out past a smaller day boat - there's no substitute for waterline length.

A Drascombe Coaster, hardly local but looks very much as home.

A classic day boat on what appeared to be moorings reserved for classic yachts near the quay in La Trinite sur Mer. Our local harbour master would be rubbing his hands together at the prospect of charging extra mooring fees for that bowsprit and overhanging boom.

A couple more interesting day boats in the same area, protected by the fishing quay. Our regular reader might recall my predilection for open day boats like the one in the foreground, absolutely lovely.

This is either a  Francois Vivier designed dinghy (Ilur,or Aber?) or a very similar local boat. Presumably sets a single lug sail, probably without a boom, safe and allowing plenty of room for fishing and the like.

Not normally a fan of motor boats, but this pastiche of a slipper launch caught my eye, the local seagulls seem to like it was well.

Friday 21 October 2016

Cool kandy coloured, lean, mean, green machine

With apologies to  Tom Wolfe, this mint green Warram has been looking very cool on a river mooring recently.

I kind of like the idea put of coastal trekking put forward by James Warram, but I think I'd probably want to do it in warmer waters.

The Coastal Trek Camp designs cater for those who do not want a craft for long distance "ocean going" sailing, but would like to be able to trail their boat to varied interesting coasts and lakes. 

Monday 17 October 2016

Westerly Nimrod

I've always been slightly intrigued and fascinated by the Ian Proctor designed, Westerly Nimrod.  It's reported to be fast, dinghy like but with a small cabin and with a 120Kg centre plate presumably not prone to capsize.

IThe Nimrod as built by Westerly between 1968 and 1971 and after that a few more were made by other manufacturers.

The  'L' shaped centre plate  retracts completely into the hull so makes for easy launching which is really a prerequisite for trailer sailing, plys plat up shallowdraft will get you pretty much anywhere you want to go.

Rolled side decks and toe straps for sitting out, together with a generous sail area (16.7 sq m with genoa) shows the dinghy and performance heritage

The Nimrod definitely wasn't a typical Westerly which may in part explain the low numbers sold.

You see then from time to time on the second hand market for around £1,500 to £2,000. I've often thought one would make a great pocket cruiser but could do with a little updating in the looks department, those rubber window surrounds for example are very dated. But all in all a nice boat.

LOA 17' 9"
LWL 15' 6"
Beam 6' 6"
Draft 4'0"/ 8"
Displacement 1050 lbs
SA 140 Sq Ft
SA/Disp 21.72

Friday 14 October 2016

Port St Louis

Port St Louis lies on the southern shore of the estuary opposite Lorient, the old fortification are a great place to look out on local sailing.

Above a Philipe Harlé designed Muscadet  sits quietly on a mooring, a practical and very capable pocket cruiser. It's easy to see why they were and remain so popular.

Below a modern gaffer which I think is a Skellig, ghosts past one of the very substantial channel markers.

A restored and local fishing ketch approaching ports with fishing booms still deployed.

Going up toward the commercial port and main marina in Lorient with the WW2 submarine pens in the background.

Monday 10 October 2016

Wreck revealed at LW

The extent of the summer storm damage was revealed when I rowed past at low water, showing pretty much all of the starboard bow missing.

The deck has collapsed as the starboard side has fallen away. Earlier in the year my eldest son and I had kayaked around the wreck at high water and even talked about climbing on board to have a look around. Probably just as well we didn't.

Friday 7 October 2016

Autumn days

The days are rapidly growing shorter, the weather is getting noticeably cooler. Down on the quay tables were being laid out for a seafood Sunday lunch as part of Emsworth British Food Fortnight.

It's a time of high tides and of course low lows.

Apples collected from a local tree which grows wild and has deliciously sweet fruit, we need a trip out to collect the last of the season's blackberries and then an evening jam making.

Wednesday 5 October 2016

New Fleet

Saturday was the last Peanuts and Cadets session at Hamble River Sailing Club for the year, the morning rain cleared in time for HW and a photo opportunity to show off the club's new Optimists.

Many thanks to the sponsors at MDL.

Monday 3 October 2016

Local wreck suffers storm damage

Our local wrecked MFV suffered significant damage during the August gales.

From the river path the damage isn't really noticeable, but from the water the extent is revealed, the starboard bow has fallen away completely.

Along the foreshore a few of the fairly massive timber bulwarks have washed up, this view shows where they came from.