The film-star shallop that I really fancied when it went under the hammer at Turk's sale of assorted boats last year has found a new home at Beale Park, where it has become an attraction on the lake.
And, oh joy, I got the chance to row it. A crew of ten assorted sliding seat types, sailors, boatbuilders and me swung the oars round the lake.
It was very difficult for all of us to get into the groove. For a start, the close spacing of the thwarts and the fixed kabes limited the stroke length to a very short, stabby stroke. The oars are extremely heavy and not very well balanced. And the need to steer in ever decreasing circles to get round the lake without hitting any of the dinghies added to the problems. I'm amazed we didn't hit anything.
But it was great fun. I still want a shallop.