Monday, 23 July 2012
Aluminium is still used where the primary needs are economy and indestructibility, as in the Virus Yole we tried out recently (picture right). They are very horrid, both to look at and to row with.
So when Langstone Cutters' new Solent galley Church Ope arrived from Portland on Saturday and we saw the aluminium blades she came with, we reacted with disgust. And alarm - what will our traditionally-minded and plain-speaking boatswain say about them when he gets back from his sailing expedition next week?
But these are very different from the nasty yole scaffolding poles. They were made by Aylings for a start, a respected maker of racing kit. They are tapered nicely and have proper Macon blades. The cavity is filled with foam and they have wooden handles. Oddly, they feel a bit heavier than our wooden oars.
We were all surprised by how effective they are in action. They are very stiff and the Macon blade bites harder in the water than our traditional narrower blades. Nobody has actually said they prefer them to the wooden oars but there was definitely a groundswell of approval...what will our bo'sun say?