Wooden boats from traditional boat builders got a bit more space at the Southanpton Boat Show this year, a bit more than the crowded ghetto the organisers usually allow them anyway. And they seem to be doing OK.
New to the show was Ryan Kearley, a former apprentice of Mark Edwards in Richmond now based in Brighton.
He was showing a 12ft dinghy based on a boat built by the famous Turks boatyard in Kingston-on-Thames (which reminds me, the man who drew me a lovely pint of bitter in the beer tent at the end of the Great River Race was Michael Turk no less).
The main difference is the choice of planking material - sweet chestnut. Ryan pointed out that the wood is used for fencing in Sussex so it must be fairly durable. Durable enough, he says, for a boat that is usually kept on land.
Ryan also explained that he built the hull by eye, using only a few moulds designed for guidance rather than for bending the strakes round. Not many people can do that these days.
I particularly like the square gunmetal swivels and the blades are things of beauty. Can I afford one? Mmmm.
More info is available on Ryan's website.