Wednesday 5 March 2008

Gartside Flashboat in New Zealand

Owen Sinclair sent me these pictures of a Paul Gartside 15ft Flashboat built by Steve Bagley of Nelson NZ, taken a couple of months ago on a midsummer rowing/camping trip in Pelorous Sound at the top of South Island. What fabulous scenery! And what a lovely boat!
It was, however, a bit of a heavy build, Owen reports:
"I asked our mutual friend John Hitchcock about the difficulty of building given that he saw Steve building the boat. John regarded it as a difficult build, saying that the plywood is tortured into compound curves and that one plank (I think the garboard) is made from two pieces of ply scarfed together lengthwise!! This from a man who has built an Oughtred Ness Yawl, a Welsford Joansa (leaving out the stringers for lightness) and a St.Lawrence River Skiff.
On the other hand the result is beautiful. John does mention the width as a disadvantage in high winds; the wind can lift one side and then has a significant area to act on."

The Flashboat has no centreboard and a simple standing lugsail, so there is no temptation to try and sail upwind. If the wind is against you, you row: if it is behind you, you raise the sail and relax, as Steve is doing in this picture by John Hitchcock, judging by his cheery thumbs-up.
Notice the oar poling out the sail, and the lines keeping the tiller in place.
Finally, one of those "this is what it is all about" images - Steve with John in his St Lawrence skiff getting on the crystal-clear water at the Abel Tasman National Park. Thanks, Owen.


chasehensel said...

Sorry, I know it's four years later, but I'd love to know, for my own boatbuilding (a guideboat so far), how Steve would compare the Flashboat and St. Lawrence skiff (including the skiff's dimensions). In particular: ease and speed or rowing loaded and light, sea worthiness in wind, wave and surf, and comparative sailing, if he sails the skiff as well. Thanks

chasehensel said...

Hi, I know it’s been 4 years, but I really like to hear how Steve would compare the Flashboat and St. Lawrence skiff (and the skiff’s dimensions). In particular: ease and speed of rowing light and loaded w. 2 people and camping gear, seaworthiness in wind, wave and surf and sailing ability.

Anonymous said...

Chase: search Duckworks for an article of mine about John's St Lawrence River Skiff rudder set-up. I think there is a photo of John sailing it. And he sometimes "row-sails" it, when he can move along easily off the wind at 12.5 km/hr. Owen S