Thames skiff looks robust rather than elegant and must have been a hire boat judging by the great big mooring ring on the transom. She is in Sonning on Thames and bidding stands at £100 as of now.
Below is the one I would love to have if I lived on the canals. It is a genuine Venetian sandolo, the boats that Venetians have for their personal transport and pleasure. 23ft long, it comes with oars and forcole, the sculptured oarlocks that are regarded as works of art - they are usually signed by the maker.
Sandolos are rowed standing up, facing forward. The oars are crossed, so the rower must use a complex technique known as 'knitting'. Not for the faint-hearted, and I personally would not dare do it in the busy and often choppy waters of Portsmouth Harbour, where she is pictured. In Oxford or Cambridge, on the other hand, she would be sensational.wooden skiff is still available if you're quick. 12ft long, lying Oxfordshire, bidding now standing at £270.