Friday, 7 December 2007


One last post from the Earls Court Boat Show, where I roamed the floor with the Nokia N95 8GB smartphone I've got on test. The images are spectacular seeing as it's a phone, albeit with a 5megapixel image sensor and top-notch Schneider lens.
Three traditionally-styled rowing boats were on display, which graphically illustrate why wood is better than plastic.
Heyland Marine were showing their Duchess skiff, which is quite a nice shape, robust, not very expensive and neatly finished. But the hull is built for strength rather than elegance, so it is not surprising to find they sell most to hire operators.

Those astonishing craftsmen Henwood & Dean showed a traditional Thames skiff that is a delight - a delicate confection of varnished wood set off with the occasional glint of brass and a gold leaf cove line. Perfect - although for you could buy a fleet of Duchesses for the price of just one H&D skiff.
And Adrian Donovan showed his lovely Whitehall, a type of rowing boat that originates from Whitehall Street, New York, rather than London, although the lines are clearly derived from the wherries that the Thames Watermen used to ply their trade. Again, the use of wood gives an elegance, lightness and truth of line that GRP can never achieve.

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