Thursday 1 January 2009

Solent Galley

Langstone Cutters, based in Chichester Harbour, celebrated the new year by trying out one of Britain's less well-known small boat types, the Solent galley.
Solent galleys were built for racing in Portsmouth Harbour and the surrounding area. They are 30ft long, with four oars and a cox. They are light, slim and fast, although they use fixed seats.
The late Pat Sherwin worked tirelessly to preserve the few examples remaining, establishing a trust in his will to own and operate two galleys built by George Feltham in Old Portsmouth in 1961. The trustees hope to achieve this by lending them to local clubs.
Two boats were brought to Langstone, the Solent galley Sallyport and a lovely little pair called Jubilee.
Both were a joy to row as well as a delight to the eye. Sallyport got praise for holding her way instead of coming to a shuddering halt between strokes, as fibreglass boats tend to do.
Unfortunately they were both rather small for this oversize rower, but that's life I suppose. Lots more pictures here.

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