Friday, 24 September 2021

Solent Puffer?

It looked at first glance as though Para Handy has come to the Solent, but the more I looked around as this motor launch the more I liked it.

I'm still not sure about the cabin trunk, sloping as it does, but sitting in that wheelhouse on a cold or rainy day with a slow revving diesel, turning a big prop would be a good way to travel.


Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Bi Chance

 Ever since I read the story by Richard Woods and friends sailing his 24 foot Strider catamarans across the Baltic to Russia, I've had a soft spot for these types of small cruising cats. Or perhaps racing cats that could be cruised.

Google didn't turn up anything about Bi Chance so no idea what she is, but assume that she sails fast and has at least some accommodation judging by those side ports.

 The reality is you can probably cruise or at least weekend on one of these, but it's more suited to an early 20 something backpacker rather than someone fast approaching retirement. Not that I'm especially included to luxury when it come to boats, but probably wanting something closer to a camper van than a tent these days.

Friday, 17 September 2021

More on the gaff riggerd Westerly 22

 My recent post about the gaff rigged yawl Westerly 22 raised some interest, and apologies to Alden for my slow response to his request for more information - he posted more on his Stream of Consciousness blog.


There is a very good, comprehensive write up by Richard Blomfield on the Westerly Owners Association website and how at the age of 81, he went about converting Anna of Apuldram as a downsize replacement for the Albert Strange gaff yawl Galatea he had owned for many years.

It's only a short article but remarkable and written by someone who really knows about boats and their handling. 

 I too confess to being a great fan of yawl rig, Greta our Cornish Yawl was a great boat and really convinced me of the handiness of the yawl rig.


Monday, 13 September 2021

Harbour launch

 Really nice harbour launch spotted at Dolphin Quay Emsworth.

Sadly no one around to find any details, but looks perfect for pottering around the harbour, fishing, picnics etc.

Kept in really good condition, clearly had some work done to get her ready for the season, very nice.


Friday, 10 September 2021

Hawk 20

 I've always liked the Hawk 20, which has a reputation as a fast and forgiving day boat, but for one reason or another I've never really been in a position to buy one. 

A few years ago I was chatting to a couple who had just downsized from a 35 foot yacht to a Hawk and said that they were doing much more sailing in the smaller boat, which was ready to go in minutes and both easy and exciting to sail, which sounded like a good recommendation.

It might just be me but the styling is looking a bit dated, very 1980's, certainly the colour scheme probably doesn't help, nor on this case which is the cuddy version., but looks aside great to have somewhere dry and safe to stow things,

Monday, 6 September 2021

Westerly Gaffer

Designed by Denys Rayner and first introduced in 1963, the Westerly 22 was one of the early popular GRP cruisers setting a gunter rig on the early boats with a sail area to displacement of 16.9. 

This gaff rig conversion not only looks pretty, but the extra sail area down wind should be very useful and the mizzen should make it a very handy craft. A topsail would be nice.

Thanks to Greg for the photo.


Friday, 3 September 2021

Folkboat Friday

 looking lovely in the late afternoon sun.

Monday, 30 August 2021


Some people are nervous about running engines while ashore, but the fact is while the boat is out on the hard it's a great time to flush things through with fresh water, especially with a direct seawater cooled engine. 

This pic was sent by my friend Greg taken at Netley Cliff SC, it's a 5 gallon (that's 25 liters for those on the metric system) container tied to the transom, into which the exhaust is routed using a temporary extension. The through hull log has been removed so that the water hose is routed inside the boat and connected to the water cooling pump.

The engine chugs away circulating the cooling water, very neat.

Friday, 27 August 2021

First row of the season

This was way back in winter, during the lockdown. Not exactly true as I'd been working out on the rowing machine in my office all winter. But I've managed to do precious little rowing ever since this year with the pressures of too many conflicting demands on my time.

As I recall this was a fine day in prospect with light winds, so I got out early and rowed down river before the crowds started showing up.

Note to self must get back into the rowing habit.

Monday, 23 August 2021

Working yards

I like traditional  working boat yards , the Fowey Boatyard is no exception, situated on North Street in the middle of town on the banks of the river. Boats are launched directly by derrick down  into the water presumably at high water.

Across the river at Boddinick boatyard, they are either getting ready for a launch or running short of space ashore.


Friday, 20 August 2021

The Dibble

Perhaps a close relative of the Gribble?



Monday, 16 August 2021

Fowey Bus Stop

 This always makes me smile as we arrive at the top of town, and all credit to the residents of Fowey who clearly work hard to make this so special.

We normally drive past on the way into and out if town, so I made a special effort to walk up along the Saint trail path and take some pictures.

Thank you to those involved, it's a delight.

Friday, 13 August 2021

Up the creek

 Pill Creek runs eastward opposite Fowey and just upstream from Polruan. We've walked the the Hall walk path which runs along the hills at either side of the creek many times, so I decided to explore at water level for a change.

It was right on low water as worked my way up the creek, once around the bend and out of sight of the moorings it's a complete escape with nothing but wildlife and the wind in the trees to disturb the peace.

I ran out of water well short of the buildings, the old lime kiln  and quay at Pont Pill. Even in a kayak there was only an inch or so of water above the quite firm and sandy bottom.

 Sadly the creek is all to short but it was a wonderful, calm place to just sit take in the surroundings.

Monday, 9 August 2021


Don't know much about Dolphin nor did google turn up anything, but don't let that detract she's a beauty.

Seen on her mooring just off Boddinick upriver from the car ferry.

The colour scheme is one of my favorites, works really well with the varnished spars. Would love to see her under sail.


Friday, 6 August 2021


Mixtow is a tiny creek just a few hundred yards long on the eastern side of the Fowey river. I guess it would be described as a hamlet with a few houses and some pontoon moorings in the middle of the creek.

Very quickly you get to the head of the creek where the fields and trees come down to the water.

By the entrance just on the main river are a few fantastic houses.

And just along the fore shore a very rustic looking schooner, perhaps a live aboad

Monday, 2 August 2021

The other half

  Paddling along in a somewhat more modest kayak, it was still nice to see some of the super expensive floating real estate along the river.

Above a very striking modern design aesthetic 

While speed may not be the aim, sea keeping and comfort are certainly reflected in this trawler type

Not quite a tender for the top two, but a great boat for nipping over to the Isle of Wight or generally around the Solent.

 The neighbors ashore, it's not clear who has the best view the people on the boats or the view of the boats, either are very nice.

Friday, 30 July 2021

Saturday Seagull

Seemed perfectly happy way out in the middle of a very dry stretch of the Emsworth channel on Chichester harbour.

Monday, 26 July 2021

V for Varnish?

What a fantastic boat, the photo doesn't do justice to the varnished topsides which were positively glowing in the evening sun and reflected ripples off the water.


Details - Sunmaid V is a Sparkman and Stephens One Ton Cup design. Built in 1967 of mahogany by the Clare Lallow yard of Cowes.

LOA 36′-11″, LWL 26′-8″, beam 10′-2″, draft 6′-3″, and sail area 530 sq ft.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Low low water

I timed my rowing trip perfectly riding the last of the ebb tide down river and then back up on the flood.


It was one of the biggest spring tides of the year and didn't work out so well for everyone.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Just curious

 There's probably a perfectly rational explanation.

Caption anyone?

Friday, 16 July 2021

Seagull Saturday

I pretty sure it's a tern, but I couldn't think of a good alliteration.


 I was just floating by on the tide and he or she was resting and taking in the rays, but wanted to keep an eye on me as I passed by.

It was just one of those chill'n kind of days and this pic summed it up perfectly.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Ready for the season

 Taken earlier in the year, it was a busy day down at Itchenor getting these classics launched on a big tide.

Above pretty sure that's a Swallow, the two handed class at the 1948 Olympics, a thoroughly modern classic with the main fleet based at Itchenor.


In red or varnished the XOD's always look great.

I think this is a Tofinou with that floor and tight turn of the bilge it would be a very stable and comfortable day boat.

 On a different tack the Hamble Lifeboat looks like it is more ready for take off.

Friday, 9 July 2021

How am I doing

Always a slightly dangerous question to ask.


Not sure about the driving but parking definitely has room for improvement.

Monday, 5 July 2021

Hamble Aligators

Trip to the upper reaches of the tidal Hamble at Botley on what was a huge tide. Mrs BB dropped me off at the old wharf for a paddle down river to Swanwick Hard and a short walk home.

The upper reaches are narrow and the banks are dense with vegetation and flora, I had seen this sign warning of dangerous local wildlife so it pays to keep an open eye.

But until now had not managed to spot them in the wild or get a close up photo.

 The search continues for the notorious and fabled Hamble giant squid

Friday, 2 July 2021

New gaffer

This new gaffer appeared on the river in late spring.



Very cute and well turned out little double ended cutter.

Monday, 28 June 2021

Hamble Star

 There are a few of these around Old Bursledon I believe purchased from Erith Yacht Club on the tidal Thames a few years ago which this one seems to confirm.

Nice to see a local boat returning home, although to date they seem to sit on trailers rather than sailing.

Hamble Star is a 4.3 m monohull sailboat designed by A. R. Luke and built by A. R. Luke/Elephant Boatyard (UK) starting in 1925.