Monday 29 November 2021

Big Mean Green Sailing Machine

 Spotted at the Berthon yard in Lymington, in fact not something you'd miss either on of off the water.

 It's actually a Knierim FC53 designed as a very fast around the world cruiser, which sounds like a bit of a contradiction because sailing at whatever rate of knots isn't a fast way to get around the world and is enjoyable for that very reason.

Whatever if someone's spending £1.5 million which is the asking price then they're entitled to travel how they please. 

There's a really good video on Aquaholic  if you want to know more and which will save me typing. 

With apologies again to Tom Wolfe for the title

Friday 26 November 2021

Cara 16

I'm pretty sure this is a boat that I haven't seen this boat for a few years, a Cara 16 Miss Nighy.

 Making down the river at the start of a perfect autumn day, about as good as it gets.

Monday 22 November 2021


I have it on good authority that the local Sea Scouts are selling off some of their old boating stock.

Anyone looking for a very cheap project Wayfarer could do well with one of these, all three are old GRP boats that wouldn't take much to get them sailing and will be very cheap.

There are a few interesting keel boats including a 1720, a Dragon, an E Boat (an IOR mini ton) and this which I believe is a MacWester Kelpie the open day boat version

LOA: 14’11” 4.55m LWL: 12’6” 3.81m Beam: 5’ 6” 1.68m Draft: 2’0” 0.61m Disp: 800lb Ball 450lb Sail: 115ft2 10.7m2 

If you're interested pleas drop me an email and I'll pass on your details to the Scouts, but hurry they won't hang around.

Thursday 18 November 2021

Slow moving traffic

 A traction engine or steamroller are not an uncommon sight locally, many of the of steam engines operated by members of the South Hampshire Historic Steam & Engineering Society, based at  Bursledon Brickworks Museum are taken out for a "run" either as part of their maintenance or for the simple pleasure of piloting one of these beautiful machines along the highways and byways.

With working speeds of three or four miles an hour the pace is leisurely and rightly so if you imagine the braking force required to stop one. A run around the block of 10 or 12 miles is going to take a while including a couple of hours to fire and steam up, but maybe that's the whole point.

Monday 15 November 2021

Fast Skiff

 Apologies for the poor quality photo of this fast two person skiff, which I'm pretty sure had sliding seats and well as outriggers.

 I've been pondering building a similar fast and lightweight skiff as an alternative to Gato Negro. I really like Ken Basset designed Firefly and closer to home Paul Fisher has a nice two seat Thames skiff which might be the boat above. 

I've got the plans for Dave Gentry's Ruth which is a lovely looking boat built very lightweight using skin on frame construction which is very interesting.

Friday 12 November 2021

Hamble Tranquility

 I came across these pictures and frankly can't remember if I've used them before, but they are a reminder of the peace and tranquility of an early morning on the river.

Monday 8 November 2021


 I've spent a good deal of this season building a garden room or as a friend said "a big shed" at the bottom of the garden.

Passing through the boatyard recently I spotted this which would make a brilliant weekend retreat.  A shed is pretty much a shed but location, location, location.

Friday 5 November 2021

Autumn's Bounty

With the recent change of weather there's been a breakout of fungi locally. Walking down the garden in the early morning to eject a visiting mouse the cat brought in still alive, there was almost a carpet of what look like magic mushrooms - don't know why I think that, having never been inclined to try them.

Later out walking, I spotted this crop, no idea if they are edible or not and honestly I'm not confident that I could identify so with any certainly. In France apparently you can take wild mushrooms for testing at some pharmacies which sounds like a good idea.

In past years we used to visit the market in Sete at this time of year which had the most amazing array on sale, alas not this year, so I'm cooking mushroom risotto for tea with common button mushrooms picked in the wild at Tesco.

Monday 1 November 2021


The local Sea Scouts were very kindly given some boats from the estate of a late local businessman. These comprised two Wagtail dinghies and a Thames rowing skiff.

The wagtails are really nice traditional dinghies, very much in the vein of Ransom's Swallows and Amazons, but not really what young teenagers want to sail. Modern dinghies like Pico's or Feva's are more exciting and need significantly less maintenance. The spars and sails had gone missing over the years so the Scouts decided to sell all three boats.

 Wagtails were built on the Hamble by our local boat builder Greg at Salterns Boat builders for many years and having spotted them for sale he and a friend bought both so they are in good hands to be bought back to full compliment. 

At time of writing the Thames skiff is still looking for a new home.