Thursday 14 April 2011

A Robote in the Lake District

I've always admired the designs of Jim Michalak for their complete functionalism, simplicity and ease of build. Some of them ain't pretty, but that's not the point.
Jonty Chippendale, one of the victims of the dreadful Cockermouth flood, started rowing again recently, taking his Michalak-designed Robote out on Bassenthwaite Lake. He writes:
This is a picture of my Jim Michalak designed ‘Robote’. Its surprisingly quick and very easy going, can handle a fierce chop without getting me wet, and is light enough to car top single handed – at a push.
This day I had just rowed the length and back of Bassenthwaite Lake (the only lake in the Lake District for all you quiz fanatics!) a distance of about 6 miles. In fact I did more as it was such a beautiful morning I did a couple of extra miles afterwards just pottering around watching the bird life. Later in the year we have Ospreys feeding on the lake, but you can only do so much neck craning when rowing a brisk 6 miles, so I have yet to see one in the act of fishing!
I also have a recreational sliding seat scull which is much quicker but significantly less stable so even less suitable as a sight seeing platform.
I have a mind to use the Robote for a camping/cruising holiday, I just can’t decide where. Any suggestions – not to crowded and with quiet places to lay up for the night. Oh and NO MIDGES so that rules out Scotland and Ireland in the summer!
Enjoy the blog,
Jonty Chippendale. 
Well, Jonty, if you can bear to come down to the soft south you could look at the events the Home Built Boat Rally are organising, including our row down the Thames following the Beale Park Boat Show, and the Dinghy Cruising Association's Cobnor week, a brilliant camping week with access to some of the loveliest rowing waters anywhere.


Patrick Hay said...

I have nothing against Mr Michalak, and I've never sailed in a boat of his design. For all I know they are excellent in every way - except one. For me a boat has to be a beautiful thing, and it's not as if I'm really demanding; nearly all boats appeal to me except for those that are truly very, very ugly indeed.

Unfortunately I find almost every one of Mr Michalak's creations - and he's drawn a lot of them - among the ugliest boats I have ever seen.

Surely the admirably prolific Jim could now afford to spend a little more time making any new designs just that tiny bit more "boaty" looking. Who knows? they might just turn out to be better boats, too.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see another Robote here. She's really amazing and can bring A LOT of joy. I had to say that my cruise of a lifetime has been just done thanks to Robote:

It was better than crossing the Baltic sea the other day onboard the other boat, a big sailboat...

Good luck!

Gavin Atkin said...

I once rowed a Robote happily in 3ft waves and a fairly strong breeze.

I thought it did a great job. Looks aren't everything!

Anonymous said...

Michalak designs may not be the prettiest but they allow many people to access a leasure that otherwise would be left to the rich and famous.
Keep in mind that the most important is the pleasure you feel when on the water and not on the docks looking at fine lines...