Friday, 28 July 2017

Inflated Ego

Brilliant, clearly some motor boaters do have sense of humour.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Treasure island

The Hamble River SC sail away picnic last weekend was called off due to rain forecast on and off all day, but there was enough of break in the weather to go sailing in the creek.

After a bit of a sail around there was a lot of fun to be had splashing about on the island and then back to the clubhouse for a picnic lunch.

Monday, 24 July 2017


 CAPREOLUS is a Bermudan yawl of carvel construction, mahogany on oak, built by R A Newman & Sons of Hamworthy, Poole to a design that was apparently inspired by the famous Sparkman and Stephens yacht FINESTERRE.

Between 1966 and 1976 she  wore the white ensign in the ownership of  one Major D V Bonsor who was a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron. Subsequent owners made considerable efforts to bring her back to a good condition but she was allowed to fall into neglect.

Fortunately her current owner undertook a restoration which completed in June 2011 when Capreolus was relaunched  after a two and a half year restoration taking 3,500 man hours.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Black Jack - a local connection

It turns out that my friend and local boat builder Greg was responsible for the lovely gaffer Black Jack spotted recently down at Studland.

Greg confirms that she is, as I suspected a Morecombe Bay Prawner, the hull was moulded by Eric Berqvist, who also moulded the Memory which Greg later built at his Salterns yard and the diminutive Winkle Brigs. The moulds were taken from an old motor prawner "Sir William Priestly",

Apparently the mouldings were twisted in the counter so Greg undertook an extensive rebuild having purchased the stripped out the GRP hull and deck from the now long gone Classic Yachts Ltd at the Triangle Boatyard in Bittern. It needed some massive reinforcing with new bulkheads, frames and deck beams to prevent flexing.

Greg then fitted out Black Jack work boat style with an iroko coach roof and internal t&g interior.

Black Jack was fitted with "inherited" sails and spars but as a result was under canvassed, which combined with the shallow draft didn't sail that well.

All that took place about 30 years ago, she was sold to help pay for his studies at the local Warsash college. Black Jack has been since sailed extensively including the channel islands and a spell in Wales before coming back to the Solent and her current home in Keyhaven.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Thames Stroll

My meeting finished at lunch time so I took the opportunity to walk back to the office along the Thames from London Bridge.

I remember going to the London Planetarium as a young child, probably early 1960's the stars were projected above the then London skyline, very different to what we see now with all the high rise additions.

HMS Belfast looking imposing as ever.

It was a good day for boat spotting with this barge alongside the London Bridge pier

The ever changing face of London from the river, church spires used to dominate the skyline, there are still a couple hidden in there.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Local vernacular

Interesting clash of architectural styles are going up in Lymington. These waterfront flats couldn't be more diverse; contemporary brick, mixing with Miami cruise ship, alongside traditional pitched roof with added carbuncle (for want of a better description).

Lucky our local planners are doing such a good job maintaining the spirit and local character,  just think what might have been built.

Monday, 10 July 2017

All secure

I've tried repeatedly to find this in the Ashley Book of Knots but to no avail.

Not sure that it follows conventional dock line etiquette which I've always understood that if some one is already secured, the newcomer should pass their lines underneath and either make a bowline or secure back to the boat.

Friday, 7 July 2017

More Solent Pirates

Spotted down at Lyminghton quay, perhaps smuggling in a load of home brew from the Isle of Wight, while the crew of the Black Puffin stands by ready to escape the revenue.

A close up of the altogether hardy and salty looking crew.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Some boats

Spotted along the Hamble, this grey beast is a bit hard to see - I was taking the photo from the far bank while cycling, must get a closer look when I'm rowing if it's still there.

Classic folk boat on classic colours - doesn't really get much better.

A First 210 like Matilda Emilie, I checked the axis of the picture, the post is absolutely vertical but the boat still appears to be sloping down towards the bow, clearly a camera angle problem.

This ketch is really nice and very well kept.

An old favourite Harrison Butler Yonne, looking fantastic as always.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Ice Warning

You all knew the recent sunny, summer weather wouldn't last,  Eastleigh council did, and they kindly put up these ice warnings.

Clearly no one would be dumb enough to waste money putting up a sign when we only get below freezing a couple of days a year  - would they?

Monday, 26 June 2017

Old Harry

It was an unusually low tide at Studland as I set off to kayak around the Old Harry rocks which are actually chalk formations at Handfast point in Dorset.

The very outer parts are described as a stack and a stump or Old Harry and his wife.

With slack tide and a calm sea it was easy to go right around the point, seen here with Swanage in the distance.

Better still with the tide so low it was possible get up close and see parts which I've never had the opportunity to explore before, like some of the smaller caves and windows. The water was crystal clear.

I imagine this low bank doesn't often break the surface, but it made for a nice resting spot and a good reminder to keep well off when sailing past.

The famous stack, seen from the land side and showing the tidal range, which isn't huge a couple of meters at most.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Black Jack KYC

Anchored out in Studland bay, presumably from Keyhaven Yacht Club, you can just about make out the name in the third picture.

Black Jack has the low rounded stern of a prawner, but perhaps that was just a design influence.

Very pretty from the stern and well kept, lovely.

Monday, 19 June 2017

On a clear day

And the weekend really was, a ketch on a sparkling sea

Below the "Poole navy" rushing off somewhere while the trading ketch takes a more leisurely approach.

Later sailing into the early evening with those magnificent chalk cliffs as backdrop.

Flat calm in the morning sunshine and a super low spring tide, no prizes for guessing how we got around.

Which was just as well since there was no wind and the alternative might have disturbed the peace and quiet.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Hamble Pirates

Piracy on the Hamble has been virtually unknown for a couple of hundred years or so, although there was a spate of outboard motor thefts a few years ago and back in the early noughties, the notorious one legged boat burglar was caught and convicted on unambiguous CCTV  evidence.

Just recently there has been increase in reported sightings of the gentlemen and ladies of fortune.

It started with the Hamble river raid, one of the gig crew left behind no doubt to guard the boat while the others were ashore for some nefarious purpose.

More recently some unsavoury characters were gathered at the slipway over the bank holiday.

Later seen at the top of the creek with fellow pirates proudly displaying the skull and crossbones, presumably a nice quiet spot to hold a pirate council.

Apologies for the bad photos.

Monday, 12 June 2017


I haven't been to Portsmouth by boat for a quite while (not counting the Brittany ferry last summer) and it was nice to revisit all the familiar features from when we kept Blue Clipper there years ago, the Millennium Tower and Spice Island in the foreground

Mary Mouse, the bar and shower block for Haslar marina based in the old lightship.

A couple of Victory class, local day boats similar to the XOD's but clinker built and I believe unique to Portsmouth.

A Daring class Destroyer alongside.

And another one out on a mooring in the harbour.

Moored in the Porchester channel a very nice sloop, sadly the light was fading.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Shock of the new

There's a poignancy to this picture that I like, the remains of a single, old working boat gradually decaying, reverting back to the elements from which it was made. While across the river in the bustling marina a new generation of pleasure boats define the changed times.

Boats have become part time pleasure craft, vessels of affection, with an altogether more trivial purpose, the old discarded and unwanted - it could be a metaphor for modern life or maybe I'm just feeling a bit old myself.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Fast trip to Portsmouth

My friend Malcolm asked me to help take his boat back to Port Solent in Portsmouth, not that he actually needed any help but it was a nice excuse to go for an evening on the water and a catch up over a couple of beers.

The remains of the unsettled bank holiday weather were still in evidence, but no rain and the wind was SW 15 knots or less as we left Hamble.

Some spectacular light breaking though the clouds, looking up Southampton water.

Leaving Hamble and getting used to the boat at 1200 revs.

Not long after approaching Portsmouth.

We were going a bit faster with the turbos kicked in and the boat up on the plane, I wasn't really watching the time but it was a whole lot faster than sailing.