Sunday, 11 April 2010

The Hallstattersee Platten (or Zillen) at the Turks Auction

When I met Michael Turk in Chatham on Saturday, he told me that he bought the Hallstattersee Platten (or Zillen) and the various Danube lake boats on a trip to Austria. It was cut in half to bring it back, and subsequently shortened as the original was too long to be practical on the Thames. It is still 25ft long, however.
It comes with two oars, which are interesting. The shaft is bent, with a T-piece at the top so the rower can feel which way the blade is pointing and turn it easily. The blade is attached at an angle so it enters the water vertically while keeping the shaft conveniently in front of the rower.
I think it would make an ideal canal cruising boat. The rower or rowers (up to four in this boat) face forward so they can see where they are going on narrow, windy cuts and the oars don't stick out the side impeding oncoming narrowboats. And the wide flat bottom is ideal for camping.

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