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.