Monday, 27 March 2023

East Cowes kerb appeal

What a great address

Side view of the house, complete with mural  - just great.

Friday, 24 March 2023

First signs of Spring on the river

 I'd been abroad for a week, before I left the daytime temperatures were around 4 or 5 degrees, getting back home things had warmed up and spring is clearly on it's way.

 Not before time, seems to have been a long winter.

Monday, 20 March 2023


Fine settled weather, great for rowing, kayaking, cycling and riding motorbikes - not so great for sailing

Below Bursledon pool looking more like a mill pond.


Friday, 17 March 2023

French classic day boats

As an avowed day boat fan, I can't pass up the opportunity to check out interesting day boats when we're visiting new places.

These first three all have small cuddy cabins, I think the French call them Peche Promenade but that seems to also apply to any small boat. These are three although individually different are very much in the small yacht category, wooden constructed and maybe with the exception of the middle one reminiscent of small pre war designs.

The cabin/cuddy is a really useful feature, great place to stow clothes and equipment, boil the kettle, shelter if it gets rough and cold assuming you can sit and steer from the companion way, or just retire below on the mooring for a snooze.

At the other end of the scale this seems to be a racing class, interesting canoe stern.

Slightly larger than a day boat and probably a local fishing boat, the hull form is very similar to the two smaller open boats below, so maybe evolved for the local waters around Noirmoutier.

These last two are very similar and there were several others along the rivers of the same size and shape, the area has extensive oyster beds so perhaps they evolved from that trade or local fishing.

Overall not dissimilar to our local Itchen Ferry but with perhaps a little more gallic flare.

Monday, 13 March 2023

Gone fishing

When you just have to fish from your favorite spot, even though there's a huge spring tide


Friday, 10 March 2023


That's one snappy paint job

Monday, 6 March 2023

Troll 26

Interesting sports boat built by Chantier des Ileaux,  Noirmoutier to a design by Italian naval architect Paolo Bua the Troll 26.

It's described as "8 meters long by 2.50 meters at the main beam, 1.80 meters draft, simple, sleek and elegant, this boat is perfectly designed for day trips, fast, friendly & technical."

The owner was involved with the build, Chantier des Ileaux say "which underlines the shipyard's philosophy of transforming a dream into a concrete project by combining the nobility of wood with the latest innovations in Strip Planking".

Another lovely, more traditional looking day boat built by the same yard the Indigo, who's looks somewhat disguise  it's performance. It sports a NACRA profile keel, flat top mainsail, carbon bowsprit and asymmetric spinnaker to go with the clinker (lapstrake)  planking. Really nice.

 Worth a look at some examples of the other boats the yard has built here

Friday, 3 March 2023

Hamble Wrecks

Up river between the railway and motorway bridges the eastern bank of the Hamble is undeveloped and home to a few disintegrating wrecks

Above the remains of what looks like a plywood constructed yacht which as far as it's possible to tell probably looked quite pretty in it's day.

 The bows of a steel barge or lighter, as late as the post war years and maybe in to the early 1960's barges were still in use ferrying bricks and other products from the Bursledon Brickworks.

Monday, 27 February 2023

Wow Scow

I think the resurgence in socw modern racing hull forms started with a Mini Transat Magnum  introduced by David Raison ten or more years ago.

The scow bow has certainly caught on with the Ocean racing fraternity with the type showing up in Mini 650s, Class 40s and IMOCA 60s, and now the new Ace 30.

Seen here ‘Influence’ a VPLP Clak 40., a high performance and reliable boat which has been campaigned in 2022 in Les 1000 milles des Sables and went on to achieve a 1 st in the Round Ireland Race.

It caught my eye last year at Cowes thinking tangentially that a slightly de-tuned version would make a great cruising boat. Wide beam so plenty of accommodation below, fantastic and safe cockpit to work from and presumably a relatively stiff hull form. On the downside there's probably a 3 meter deep keel for racing which would be awkward for cruising.



A bit like buses you don't see one for ages then they all come along together, a couple of Robert Tucker designed Caprice's turned up in almost adjacent moorings on the river.

 The top one is a late model probably a Mk V in GPR which is the same model as my first boat

The second has been featured here before an earlier plywood one possibly a Mk III

In comparison with more modern small yachts even from the late 70's and especially the 80's these 19 foot yachts Carprice are tiny, but their capability as demonstrated by Shane Acton who circumnavigated twice aboard Shrimpey, can't be denied.

Friday, 24 February 2023


Someone with better recognition than I will need to tell us whether these are Swallows, or Sunbeams or the Daring fleet or something quite different, immaculately arranged outside Cowes roads at last year's regatta.

Compared to years ago there are far fewer yachts outside on the moorings, presumably in part as overall numbers at the event were down, there's been a increase in marina berths over the year which makes things easier and more comfortable for the crews.


Monday, 20 February 2023

Winter day sail

 Lovely clinker built dinghy making way up the Hamble on a cold but clear winter's day


Friday, 17 February 2023

Speed Trials

 Friend Malcolm was asked to record some performance data of a high performance Brabus Shadow 300, and asked me along to hold the camera steady. The boat is dry sailed out of a local marina which is very cool as below being dropped in ready to go.

On a cold, grey and almost deserted day we drove across Solent logging the GPS speed for every 500 RPM increment from 2000 up to 6000 RPM. Maximum speed recorded at 6000 was 44.9 knots with a little bit of tide assistance.

Despite being an open boat the wrap around screen kept most of the wind off the driver and crew  resulting in a quite comfy ride.

Next up will be to change the prop to see if the performance/fuel consumption can be improved.

Monday, 13 February 2023

Etier du Moulin

In the depths of winter, it's nice to recall those summer days.

The Etier du Moulin is a channel which separates Noirmoutier-en-i'lle from the rest of the island/peninsular. Running east from the bridge in the centre of town, the drying channel is a haven for small classic boats. On the southern bank away from the town are several traditional boat builders

For someone like me it was day boat heaven wandering around and having a good look at everything while Joseph and Mrs BB spend an hour of so in the nearby shops.

Wooden day boat, wooden cruiser, wooden motorboat (probably) and a really cute wooden tender.

Shore side workshops probably haven't changed much in the last 70 or even 100 years.

 Moorings over on the town side (opposite) are a bit more upmarket

Quintessential France, bar, boat and bicycle, could do with someone carrying a baguette but close enough.


Friday, 10 February 2023

Monday, 6 February 2023

Winkle Brig

I remember back in the early 80's thinking this would make a nice picnic boat, there don't seem to be many around these days.

 The French would probably call it a pêche promenade, we don't really have a translation.

Friday, 3 February 2023


 Rowed past this really nice ketch which I hadn't seen before, the crew were tiding up and cooking breakfast. They had brought the boat around from the east coast which must have been a challenging trip given the weather we've had recently.

 The boat is to a design by Kim Holman which once having been told it's easy to see familiar characteristics from his perhaps more famous designs the Twister, Stella, Rustler 31.


Monday, 30 January 2023

Still Life

 Even on those cold, grey, short winter days there's always some uplifting beauty to be seen along the river.

Friday, 27 January 2023

Winter days on the water

When it's grey and overcast as well as cold with hardly any wind then it must take a lot of motivation to get out on the water.

However when the sun comes out, everything looks better, and the juniors were out in force

 The local wildlife seem to have found a safe sun trap.

Langstone cutters out for a winter row at Emsworth.

A couple of boats were running engines in the Elephant boatyard, later heading out under motor, good opportunity to charge the batteries and maybe go over to Cowes for lunch

A perfect early morning for rowing, morning sun, river like glass and not a breath of wind


Monday, 23 January 2023

Changing seasons

Changing seasons seen from the view point in  Old Bursledon where I took the original blog header photo


Very different with the stark contrast in winter


Saturday, 21 January 2023

Bizzar conversations or technical overreach

 Mrs BB -  "Alexa play U2 Still haven't found what I'm looking for"

Mr BB muttering under his breath - "You'd know where it is if you'd put it away properly Alexa"

Alexa - "Sure"  then proceeds to play Beyonce.

Friday, 20 January 2023

Winter Flugel

 I've written about friend Greg and his fast Memory 19 sloop The Flugel several times - just type Memory into the search box over on the right to bring up all the Memory posts. 

Here she is safely ashore at Nettley SC for the winter, which hopefully will be less eventful than 2022

The previous trailer was wrecked when a neighboring boat fell over during storm Eunice.  That was a a write off now replaced by the substantial and rather useful four wheel trolley "Whizzy" which should cope with the 2500lbs displacement very well.