Friday 29 September 2023

Old boats

The recent post on Hamble wrecks reminded me of this old cabin/fishing boat seem out in the salting at Noirmoutier-en-I'lle last year.

With a really jaunty almost cartoonist sheer and a well proportioned cabin she looks to have been an attractive boat. Whether she suffered neglect or just old age it's a shame to see such a nice little boat slowly falling apart.

 A little closer to home, here's a similar boat that might be heading the same way, could certainly do with a clean and polish and tlc.

Monday 25 September 2023

Pathway Breech

The causeway path that runs alongside the Hamble River was breached some time ago, the lagoon alongside Bunny Meadows now fills and empties directly through the breech no doubt making the damage worse with every time and especially so at springs and in strong south-westerlies which push up the HW

For some reason Hampshire County Council Countryside Services have decided not to repair but to erect a temporary bridge. It will be interesting to see how that will fare during the coming winter, plus there are signs of breaches occurring at other places on the pathway, so might we be seeing a proliferation of such bridges or worse still a closure of the path which is a hugely popular recreational route.

For some reason it seems as though our local councils would rather spend money on signs and decorative items rather than than getting on with proper maintenance. No doubt that was a different department, different budget, but it's still our tax money.

Friday 22 September 2023


A few weeks ago I spotted a new and interesting boat on the river while passing by on a friend's yacht, by coincidence the following day I was rowing Mrs BB down river for a coffee and cake, stopping by the new boat to take some photo's the owner Daniel invited us on board and shared some of the history about the boat.

 Built in Western Australia in the 1950's by the Driscoll brothers to a design by Len Randell, the then young Driscolls having finished the yacht to a high quality apparently didn't have the time or funds to fit out below but sailed the boat to South Africa with very spartan comforts, sleeping in hammocks and cooking on an old paraffin stove.

 The story continues, a Mike Saunders from Rhodesia found Walkabout abandoned near the small island of Bartholomew Dias in Mozambique.  Following a refit, with his wife and four children, he then sailed around the Cape, via South America, the West Indies and the Azores and ended up in Emsworth.

At some stage Walkabout passed onto an accomplished shipwright called Clive, who lived on board and owned Walkabout for some 35 years, before selling to the current owner Daniel.

The quality and construction is evident throughout the boat seen above the solid dodger is a relatively new addition which provides a secure and useful space in the cockpit.

Walkabout had just arrived on the river having been ashore for a substantial refit which included "a lot of painting".

Some photo's sent by Daniel of Walkabout sailing and history

Below in Durban

Monday 18 September 2023


 On a very fine evening as the summer draws to a close we spotted this beauty in the marina car park

Metallic Champaign paintwork and beige leather interior looks fabulous and especially with the whitewall tyres.  It outshone the much newer Porsche seen partially parked in front

 I don't think I've ever had a car that well turned out and clean not even new ones, we were so impressed we took a group photo.


Steam up or sail?

I posted a picture of this Fowey steam launch recently not giving much thought to it's origin or design only to get a call from friend and boatbuilder Greg to say it looks remarkably like the hull of his Tela dayboat

Apparently the Tela has been in production with other boat builders before Greg bought the moulds and he believes at least a couple were sold as motorboat or steamboat hulls


Friday 15 September 2023

Perils of Ashlett Creek

Friend Greg sailed to Ashlett Creek, over on the dark side of Southampton Water recently. 

The Flugel seen here at the quay which is only accessible at high water, while the crew made off to the nearby Jolly Sailor pub.

Ashlett is a winding, drying creek and as long as I've been going there not especially well marked. Greg reports a close encounter between center plate and mud, which was a very brief encounter thanks to some assistance from a local passing in a dinghy.

Apparently a great day was had, well worth a visit best to go on a rising tide.

Monday 11 September 2023

Portsdown Hill

 Took a motorbike ride up the top of Portsdown Hill, a chalk ridge which looks over spectacular views of Portsmouth and Langstone harbours.

Above the view of Portsmouth Harbour with the Solent and the Isle of Wight in the distance.

The creek leading up to Fareham on the right and the peninsular leading down to Gosport and Lee on the Solent at the rear which is the western boarder of the harbour.

 Close up of Portsmouth and the Spinnaker Tower, Port Solent marina in the foreground.

Friday 8 September 2023

Fowey Rivers

Appreciate this is repetitious but I can't go to Fowey without admiring the Fowey River fleet which create such a colorful spectacle on Wednesday, Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons.

As well as the normal summer weekly racing I like the sound of the Special races to Golant and Polkerris  which end up in the pub at each of these two picture postcard waterside villages. Who says sailing isn't a very good spectator sport?


Tuesday 5 September 2023

Wanderer Dinghy For Sale

 Wanderer Dinghy  - Now Sold


Gone to a good home in Brittany, apparently British cruising dinghies like this are popular in France.


Good example of this popular Ian Proctor designed boat. Built Anglo Marine – Number 558


Cream hull and deck, grey floorboards.  Good Sails both main and Jib. Jib on roller furling, sheets and halyards in good condition.




Combi road trailer and launching trolley with detachable jockey wheel for launching. Trailer road wheels new in 2022.


Rudder, tiller and center board all in good condition. Mast up cover in good condition. Detachable outboard bracket.




Boat is in all around good condition, stored in garage over winter, currently in commission at Weston SC near Southampton. Ready to sail, good cruising boat.


Email Max at - more pictures and information - also advertised on Apolloduck

A nice cruising dinghy easy to sail easy to keep.

Monday 4 September 2023


There was a "shout" when we were in Fowey recently, Joseph and I were out rowing  and the first sign was the harbour patrol who stopped by to warn us that the lifeboat was being scrambled and to expect some wash.

Sure enough a few minutes later the lifebat went past, keeping speed down in the harbour it was still kicking up a significant wash.

Once clear of the harbour the engines roared and it took off, the casualty was a small boat that had got into difficulty, fortunately help was on hand and the danger was quickly and safely resolved.


Friday 1 September 2023

Local Classics

A few classics seen out and about on the Solent over the summer.

Without my glasses when I took this photo I thought it might be West Solent One design, but clearly not, from the sail number it seems to be Uandi a Belfast Lough Class  - Fife design built in 1897.

Between that lovely counter stern and the bowsprit somewhere around 40% of the mooring fees must be taken up just casting a shadow on the water, modern marina charges probably didn't figure highly in Mr Fife's design brief back in those days.

Jolie Brise out on a fine day, dropping the main before heading back up the Hamble

There seems to be quite a few boats around called Volante, this one has the look of an S&S design and looks gorgeous all varnished,  credit to her owner the upkeep must be significant.

The one of the Daring one design racing class on a mooring in Cowes - there's a great video of what it's like to sail these boats in the Solent on the class site.