Saturday, 16 June 2012

New Boats at the HBBR Thames Raid (1)

One of the great points of interest of any UK Home Built Boat Rally is that there is always at least one new boat, and on the Thames Raid there were lots, with many being designed by the builders too.
Here is Tim O'Connor propelling his new self-designed canoe Zelva across the lake at Beale Park using the the elegance and power of a Hobie Mirage flapper drive.
Zelva incorporates a bunch of ideas from Tim's previous boat Wotnext, but enlarged into a luxurious camp-cruiser. The hull is glued clinker, double ended, and steered by a flexible rod attached to a yoke on the rudder.
Both ends are decked to provide a huge amount of stowage and sleeping space. The high-backed slatted seat (amazingly comfortable) is taken from Wotnext, and removes at night to allow a tent to be rigged over the cockpit and the bed laid.
In the travelling configuration, a pair of Tim's patented storage boxes are positioned either side of the seat so everything is to hand. In fact, once set up he doesn't have to get off his buns from departure to arrival as far as I can see.
The workmanship is fabulous, the design is stylishly curvy but entirely practical and Zelva deservedly won the 'most innovative design' prize at Water Craft's Amateur Boat Building Awards.

1 comment:

Brandon Ford said...

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the lovely pictures and report. I've been fascinated by the Hobie Mirage flapper drive, but not the the rotomolded, overpriced boats that go with them. This is a beautiful revelation.