Thursday, 12 June 2014

Whiff Gig

A whiff was a light, clinker-built fixed seat single sculling boat with outriggers, usually about 20 to 23ft long and under 18in wide.
They were designed for racing and training, but were rather tippy for novices. So the whiff gig was developed with a broader beam (about 2ft 8in) and shorter at 19ft. A coach could sit in the seat and steer, making the whiff gig ideal for training and pleasure as well as carrying one of the most charming names of any boat type. Whiff gig. Lovely.
Willow is a beautifully restored example of a whiff gig, shown by a Thames Traditional Boat Society member. A great deal of the structure had to be replaced, as the accompanying board with bits that had to be rejected shows.
And I got to row her. Nick Wilder kindly held my camera on shore and took this snap, from which you can see the usual problem of inadequate legroom. Behind is the umpires' steam launch Consuta, whose great length gave her the speed to keep up with racing eights.


Bursledon Blogger said...

Delightful - I was up on the Thames Monday evening sadly not anywhere near Beale.

Chris Waite said...

I'm beginning to think Chris

That the lack of leg room you constantly come up against may indicate that your parents overfed you as an infant:

Be brutal to your little boy
And starve him as you pleases.
For he'll never make an oarsman, With those huge great legs and kneeses


Nick Wilder said...

I had to rush to take that one Chris,seemed to have got it just right.What a great weekend we all had. Thanks, you made it that little bit more special.

Alberto A. Villa said...

Please see these pictures from Tigre, Argentina

The kind of boat that is common in the clubs around here is the same

It could not be otherwise ... the first clubs were founded by members of the British community [1873] and other European in the following years