Friday 29 March 2024

Itchen Ferry - Freda intrigue

Itchen Ferry Freda has been featured previously here looking great in a brief spell of winter sunshine.  

There is however some intrigue involving her history, according to local sources she was not originally called Freda, previous name unknown but still a working fishing boat, she was wrecked in the great storm which ravaged the UK in 1987.

At the time she broke her mooring and was washed ashore, suffering damage and so sold out of fishing use to a local yacht broker who effected repairs and put her to use as a leisure yacht.

It's an interesting chapter in a long history which has thankfully she survived and is still with us after all these years and looking good.

Monday 25 March 2024


 Spectacular view of the needles, thanks to one of the intrepid members of Hurst Castle SC who sail all year round.

Friday 22 March 2024


 Perhaps it's because twilight come early during winter and so is more noticeable, but the winter evening skies seem to be the most dramatic.

 Or perhaps as the clocks spring forward to BST at the end of March we're so thank full for the lighter evenings and the approach of spring that we like to forget the passing winter.

Monday 18 March 2024

Massey Ferguson

 Lovely example of an old Massey Ferguson tractor down at the Donkey sanctuary, would be just the thing for launching and recovery as is common on the Normandy coast, but probably too nicecondition to run into the sea and expose to that nasty salt water.


Friday 15 March 2024

Trailer trials

Following the sale of the Wanderer I found myself with one combi type (piggy back) road trailer and three boats. 

The road base came with the Cornish Cormorant and although old is actually in good condition. So what I needed were two launching trolleys for the other two boats and which fit securely on the road base, so I can keep all the boats on a dedicated a trolley and move whichever one with the road base as necessary - tall order.

Unable to buy anything suitable, I set too with some steel section, angle grinder (with cutting disk - hacksaw is far to slow). After watching some Youtube videos I bought one of the flux core MIG welders which after a bit of practice was quite easy to use and get good results - Welding tip buy an Auto Darkening welding helmet.

Eldest son also brought down his more powerful gas shielded MIG which was good for the heavy components like the axles, plus it was a really good father and son time and a good excuse to go down the pub afterwards..

 Above collecting the two new trolleys from our local galvanizers. All up probably not much more than four days work in total. All that's left to do is fit the new wheels and buffers and I'll be ready for the new season.

Monday 11 March 2024

James auto cycle

Nice example of a James auto cycle. Auto cycles were typically motorised bicycle attachments  generally  50cc to 100cc sold in the immediate post war austerity years sold by many UK manufacturers including James, Sun, New Hudson etc.

Many had pre war origins and engines, the James possibly one of the better makes with their Comet and Excelsior Consort models were good for maybe 40mph.

In the early 1950s import restrictions began to be lifted and the market was overwhelmed by well designed better built continental mopeds mainly from Germany…. notably the 50 cc NSU quickly which had gears and was as fast as the older 98cc auto cycles. At the same time the Vespa and Lambrettas arrived and very quickly all of those funny little British bikes were consigned to history

 Hampshire council continue to keep cycles off the pavement, but not inflation has caused them to add higher fines to the old cast sign.

Friday 8 March 2024

Glide Boat

Had an interesting chat with the owner of this Glide Boat down on the slipway at Swanwick. From a distance I thought it was a LiteBoat which is a similar French bot built I believe with carbon fiber

By contracts Glide Boats are made of roto-moulded plastic, like many kayaks and sailing dinghies. It's robust and strong and while heavier than carbon at 22Kg the Glide Solo is not exactly heavy and should slip along very nicely.

Detail at the stern is a drop down, or flip up skeg, which gives good directional stability.

 The other benefit arising from the construction is cost, the owner kindly shared that we paid well under £2,000 for the whole set up including oars and trolley, pretty good way to start the new year's fitness regime and looks like a lot of fun.

If you wanted to try one, Rowing Adventures over at Lymington do try out sessions.

Monday 4 March 2024

Weston SC

We joined Weston Sailing Club in 2023, but life events got in the way and sadly we only managed to sail a very few times at the start of the season.

The club's situation north of Netley, located in the wooded shores of Southampton Water is lovely and both the dinghy park and car park are spacious.

With the prevailing winds the club is a lee shore so a quick launch and recovery are necessary in such conditions.

Someone joked that the cannon adjacent the race office was to repel non members ­čśé but in fact the club is really friendly and welcoming.

Friday 1 March 2024

After the rain

 Driving through the New Forest the rain was lashing down and the wind howling, I had to slow down to drive safely. A few miles further as I approached Keyhaven things couldn't have been more different.

Flat calm, not a breath of wind nor hint of rain, typical of a passing squall.

The harbour surface like glass.

Sadly it didn't last long, within another 30 minutes or so the rain resumed although thank fully with less intensity.