Sunday, 6 March 2011

Art Boat

At Thornham Marina on Chichester Harbour, artists and sailors are building a boat out of people's treasured wood. They are inviting people to bring them wood that has memories, which they will slice up, encapsulate in epoxy resin, and use in the boat. Langstone Cutters rowed round in Gladys yesterday to take a look.
So far, an artist has donated bags of the pencil stubs left over from her work - she generates a dozen or so two-inch pencil ends every month - and a woman has left a bit of furniture that her late husband made over 50 years ago, and others have brought carvings, the handles of old garden spades and house timbers.
The boat itself is a custom-designed 30ft day sailer intended to be safe to take groups of children out on the water. The design (by Simon Rogers) is still evolving because nobody really knows how bits of old wood held together by a great deal of expoxy will behave structurally. The boat's bottom was going to be made of it but is now being made of cedar strip, though this is partly because wood donations have not been coming in as fast as they had hoped.
The sides of the hull have been made deliberately slab-like to avoid having to bend the epoxy panels too much, and the builders are considering making the sides in convential ply and laminating the epoxy on afterwards.
Another unresolved issue is rowing. The builder wants the boat to be rowable when there is no wind, because running round the harbour under engine is no fun for a group of active schoolchildren.
Unfortunately, this may be a considerable problem because the wide beam and high freeboard would dictate pairs of humungous oars which would be difficult to use and impossible to stow in the boat. But Langstone Cutters have promised to take a look and see if a practical solution can be found.
Take a look at for more - and take a look in your shed and rootle out a few nice bits of wood to donate.

1 comment:

Rob said...


Set up the transom to take a pintle for a Yuloh oar.

Use the new "tethered" Yuloh design with the oar-blade oriented along the axis of the boat. If the beam/transom is wide enough, set it up for TWO Yulohs. If it is designed right the regular rudder can remain in-situ for steering.

When wind drops, ship the Yuloh, tether it off, and *anyone can take turns rocking it back and forth for headway.