Adrian Hodge, stalwart of the Norfolk Skiff Club ("its not that grand...it's really just me and a mate") is looking for a boat for rowing off the coast of North Norfolk. His own skiff, the lovely Cherub (seen here in Chiswick at the start of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant, damp but not disheartened) is not really suitable for offshore. And a club really needs at least four oars.
I always enjoy your blog, which I know has a wide and knowledgable following, so can I canvas opinions from among your readers about the "ideal" crewed coastal rowing (or sculling) boat. No doubt you will sing the praises of the Solent Galley and west country men and women will say that nothing compares with a pilot gig, but we are looking for boats for the north Norfolk coast, where there is no tradition of competitive coastal rowing.
For those unfamiliar with the area, there are drying harbours, which are well used by dinghy sailors, who rarely venture over the bar into the North Sea, having plenty of room to play behind the protecting sand dunes.
Recently enthusiastic rowers have founded the Blakeney Rowing Club, which operates from the town sailing club site. But, wouldn't it be good if Wells, Brancaster, Morston and Blakeney could all have crews competing in similar boats. A similar model to the successful Scottish Coastal Rowing Association.
So what we want is a four (or six) man boat that is inexpensive, robust, seaworthy and fun.
My idea would be to consult Andrew Wolstenholme, who is based in the Broads and would be very capable of producing a nice-looking four-oared boat. His design for a Workstar cutter would be very suitable if a strictly traditional design was not required, being stable, equipped with modern flotation tanks and probably quite fast: