Southampton Boat Show last year I met Colin Evans, who was showing a model of his Atlantic Beachboat, a four-oared lug ketch for coastal rowing and sailing. At Beale, I saw the real thing!
She really looks the business, with a long (28ft) hull but with a reasonably broad beam (6ft). For comparison, a Cornish pilot gig is 32ft long with a beam of just 4ft 10in, so they are a little hairy to sail, I am told.
The rowing arrangements in the Atlantic Beachboat are very interesting. Each rower sits on a sort of box so the deck is unimpeded at the side, which must make moving around the boat much easier when sailing - no more climbing over the thwarts like a pilot gig.
The oars are straight sea oars and seem to be made of wood, though the brochure says they are of carbon/glass - perhaps they are wooden oars made up for the prototype. They fit in rather stylish square stainless steel rowlocks.
The hull is a simple stitch and glue construction designed to be easily built by communities, youth groups or schools, in the same way as the St Ayles Skiff.
For outward-bound operations, the Atlantic Beachboat looks as though it has a lot to offer and I'd love to have a go.
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