Monday, 12 May 2008

Anyone for Flashboats?

Here's an interesting proposition. Brian Pearson writes:
"Hi Chris,
Following up our interest in Cornish Flashboats. John Hesp (the designer with a cnc routing table) and his brother are needing to get on the water and their solution is to make two tortured ply Flashboats as per Paul Gartside's Flashboat article I sent. John has asked me if I would also be interested in a kit. John knows a current builder in Cornwall of Flashboats.
I have said I would be and thought I would e-mail you to see if you might be interested, and also if perhaps anyone following your excellent Rowing for Pleasure site might be.
It would be fun to have a few built at the same time. No costings yet but with it using 3mm ply and very little of it, the kit should be economic to produce.
Had a lot of fun scaring myself sailing the MacGregor canoe (left). Very narrow with 50 sq ft. The leeboard helped steady her up a great deal.
All the best.

Paul Gartside has an excellent description of the building process for his Flashboat here, and line drawings here.
I am a bit apprehensive about the 'intermediate' skill level, and the fully rebated stem the Flashboat requires, though most of the difficulties may well be avoided by buying the kit. Torturing the plywood still presents something of a challenge, however.
It is certainly very tempting and a very, very lovely boat. Paul's picture of him on the beach with the Pacific rollers in the background shows the sort of conditions the boat is capable of handling at a pinch.
Unfortunately for me, I have just come to the conclusion that John Welsford's Walkabout must be my next boat, because it is designed for sleeping in. But if the kit was cheap enough, I could just slip the Flashboat in first, just for fun....
So is anyone else interested in a Flashboat kit? Do get in touch and we'll see if we can get a bulk order in.

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