Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Nasty case of piles

I couldn't resist the title although it should perhaps be "a case of nasty piles". The Royal Southern YC in Hamble has had to renew their steel waterfront retaining wall which had suffered from corrosion.

Needless to say it's an expensive operation involving some major excavations and new piles been driven deep into the river bed.

The work is also part of a controversial marina development which will see many of the club's mid stream moorings upgraded with walk ashore access. the scheme also involves the  neighboring RAFYC which will share some of the new marina.

Of course not all river users are so enamored with  the scheme which restricts access and removes two safe navigation channels for small craft, forced them out into the main channel.

There are some who suggest that the many stakeholders including the harbour board, Crown Estates and the planning authority are more interested in profits than the wider benefit to river users. Of course I couldn't possibly comment.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Caribbean Cruiser

Well maybe not the first boat you would think of for cruising the Windward and Leeward Islands, nor indeed even the sheltered waters of Chichester harbour as seen here.

The "Caribbean" class defined luxury and modernity in the river boat hire fleets of the Thames and Norfolk Broads during the late 1960's and 1970's.

Designed by Frank Wilds and launched in 1966 the Caribbean class became an instant success, quickly replacing the fleet of wooden hire cruisers which had provided family boating holidays during the post war years.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Buckler's Hard

A winter walk though the New Forest to the old ship building village of Buckler's Hard is one of our favorites, when the summer crowds are absent and the village looks pretty much as it did 200 years or more ago.

The sloping main village comprises a row of Georgian houses which have been preserved as part of the Beaulieu estate.

The hard under the control of Master shipbuilder Henry Adams was responsible for building many famous ships during the late 18th century and early 19th centuries, including HMS Euryalus, HMS Swiftsure and HMS Agamemnon, all of which fought at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Seen below the ships were built here using abundant oak from the surrounding forest.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

SCOW like

I received an email from Tim asking if I could help identify a boat he has which is is definitely SCOW like. The builders plate says Burnham Motor Boats Ltd, marine specialists Burnham on Sea so certainly not a local boat, then again Erica's SCOW was built in Nottingham of all places.

While it certainly looks like a SCOW, Tim's measured her at exactly 12 feet which is a little oversize. The Chichester SCOW is 11'5" while the Lymington SCOW is 11'4".

Stored in a boat shed on the Scillies, apparently the boat hasn't been in the water for over 42 years. Tim has brought her back to Fareham and is looking for a new owner to take her over.

There are more details here on the Classic and Vintage Dinghy Association forum , if you fancy a SCOW like classic dinghy get in touch with Tim. 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Carpe diem

I was up early enough to catch the best of the day on Sunday, the night had been clear and bright and the morning was clear and cold with a heavy frost on all the exposed areas.

I was clearly up early, there was only a single set of footprints disturbing the frost on the old bridge.

Gradually the sun started to rise over the trees on the eastern shore and light up the boats and Hamble village.

There was no sign of the flooding which has been making press headlines, the pathway showed signs of being covered but no more than is normal on a big spring tide. Today's gale force winds are forecast to come through around low water so maybe we will be spared the combined effect of wind and high tide.

By the time I was on my return leg the sun was up and bright.

The clouds are already starting to fill in and rain is forecast by midday, but a morning run in the cold crisp air was a great start to the day.

Saturday, 21 February 2015


With the recent cold spell both the local and visiting wildlife have been making the most of feeding opportunities, like this busy day at Emsworth when the outgoing tide had just revealed the mud and the no doubt abundant and tasty supply of food.

With the milder weather things appear a little less frenetic and in a few weeks no doubt some of the northern visitors will be heading back to cooler regions. It was nice to see them while they were here.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Dragon Tatttoo

I have to admit I like micro yachts , if that's the right description. With no builders name in sight I don't know what this boat is but I'm guessing 18 to 20 feet, twin rudders, it looks easy to sail, fast and fun.

I especially like the paint job not least because it's pink, but the tattoo dragon on the topsides really make it special.