Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Clint Chase, Boatbuilder

Clint Chase writes from Portland, Maine, having stumbled on my recent post about his new Drake rowboat:
I just saw Drake on one of your Blog posts. I don't know how I missed that. You've been linked on my website. Great blog, keep it up. How do we cross link our blogs? Mine is www.clintchaseboatbuilder.blogspot.com.

I plan to post more on water and rowing stuff. Also, FYI, I am developing a line of wood-composite oars that I think may be popular. They'll have spruce looms with carbon fiber, epoxy infused blades. Pretty snazzy. More coming on this front.

Also, you mention liking Gartside's work. I love his Flashboat design. Have you rowed one? I am eyeing that boat as a potential one to do in composite if there might be a market here in the States. The kevlar guideboats are a hit, so I don't see why Flashboats wouldn't except that they are from across the pond so may take a little longer to catch on.

Cheers,
Clint Chase
Clint's blog is excellent, and I have linked to it right over there -------->
Wednesday's post is particularly insightful, I think, with a couple of really nice pics too. Clint takes two pairs of oars with him when rowing. One pair is long with wide blades for maximum oomph in flat water, the other shorter with narrow blades for rowing through a chop, especially upwind. They allow a higher stroke rate, and the narrow blades mean you don't need to feather.
I really like Clint's combination wood/carbon fibre oars too.
Carbon fibre shafts bend alarmingly and, frankly, are pig-ugly. But wooden blades are heavy and delicate. So an oar with a lovely varnished spruce shaft and a light but tough carbon fibre blade really appeals. And once the blade is painted the neighbours need never know.
Clint is developing a vacuum infusion process (VIP) for making the blades, in which the carbon fibre mats are held against an inner core in a vacuum bag. The resin is then allowed to enter and is drawn through the carbon fibres by the vacuum, to create a blade with no bubbles and little wasted resin. The result should be an oar with the loveliness and strength of wooden shafts and the lightness and indestructibility of carbon fibre blades. I want a set already...
I have never rowed a flashboat, but they are hugely popular in Cornwall where they are raced with total Cornish aggression. A bit tippy for popular taste, I think, but slippy as hell.
Flashboats arose at a time when race rules were relaxed, allowing boatbuilders to go bonkers in the pursuit of speed. So a kevlar flashboat would be entirely within the flashboat ethos, I feel.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Within the ethos maybe, but not within the rules:

"Hulls must be constructed entirely of wood. Planks a minimum of 3mm. Minimum of 3 planks. Minimum width of planking 4". Each plank must run in a fair linethe whole length of the boat from bow to stern The planks must be overlapping, amounting to clinker construction."

John

ChrisP said...

Ah, rules. I had got the erroneous impression that rules didn't apply to flashboats but that shows how little I know. Perhaps there is room for a new class using modern construction methods, like the Celtic Longboat.

Anonymous said...

Although the rules say "wood", it is in fact quite a modern const method - glued clinker ply.

John

ChrisP said...

Interesting - I did wonder about ply because of the curious 'amounting to clinker construction' wording. Where are the rules posted? Is the flashboat shape defined closely or can builders still go for extremes as they used to?

Bursledon Blogger said...

Rules aside - what a nice boat but then again I'm slighty biased toward Black and White rowing boats!!

I also covert a pair of those carbon oars

max

Anonymous said...

The CRF told me this:

Length 18' overall excluding rudder, measured between perpendicularsie: 90 degrees to horizontal.
Beam 4'6" min measured outside of planking at widest point.
Pin pads or rowlockblocks. RBs not to exceed 4" outside planking. Rubbing strake to run continously outside all RBs. Rowlock hole to be within RB. No fixtures outside rubbing strake. Rubbing strake and RBs to be constructed from wood.
Hulls must be constructed entirely of wood. Planks a minimum of 3mm. Minimum of 3 planks. Minimum width of planking 4". Each plank must run in a fair linethe whole length of the boat from bow to stern The planks must be overlapping, amounting to clinker construction. Seats stretchers and rudder must be wholly of wood.
Steering to be rudder and tiller attatched to transom and or sternpost.



The shape isn't defined other than the above rules. If you look at those photos I sent of them racing at Calstock you'll see they are of unusual shape - slightly transom bows for instance. The waterline beam is surprisingly narrow for such a wide boat, and this makes them difficult to use. Apparantly all the best gig crews came from flashboat racing.

John Hesp