Saturday, 15 February 2014

News from New Zealand

Owen Sinclair in New Zealand saw a pretty boat with an interesting mechanism for loading it on top of a car. He reports:

Hi Chris, 
John MacBeth of Nelson, New Zealand had his lovely self-designed and built boat at the Antique & Classic Boat Show at the South Island Lake Rotoiti this past weekend. 
He read some books including Thomas J Hill's Ultralight Boatbuilding, made a scale model (visible in one of the photos), and built the first boat he has ever built to a high standard. 
He has come up with some good ideas along the way: eg; the fitting at the bow, which looks a bit like the pulpit on a yacht, serves to take a dowel pushed through to form a handle. 
The boat can then be wheeled around using the wheels temporarily mounted at the transom. The photo of those wheels in situ is fairly self-explanatory. 
The flattened U shapes protuding through the wheel mount are stainless steel rod permanently fixed to the transom. 
The thwart is located by a type of cleat (visible in one of the photos) mounted on longitudinal bearers and held in place by the rower's weight. I would be inclined to have a lanyard securing it to the boat. 
He has also built a side-loading roof-rack to take the boat. 
It would need a detailed series of captioned photos to fully explain the ingenuity of his system, but the boat is effectively bolted to part of the roof rack, then turned upside down onto the side arms and winched quite easily onto the roof where it is then mechanically secured. 
The virtue of side-loading the boat for John is that his caravan can remain coupled to his vehicle. 
John intends to use the boat primarily with a 2hp outboard, but there are some useful ideas for rowers here. I didn't get a chance to row it, having taken up an invitation to sail in a Drascombe Lugger at the time everyone was on the water. 

Some great ideas there. I particularly like the roof rack - I have gouged some nasty scratches on the roof of my car recently, getting Snarleyow on top. And that is a very light boat.
Thanks, Owen!

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