Thursday 27 September 2012

Positively the last from Southampton

Just a couple more boats from the Southampton show. Above is a very shiny GRP rowing/sailing/motor boat from Per Nilsson, a company founded by a Swedish sea captain in Calstock, Cornwall over a hundred years ago.
The most evident features of the boat are a big strake along the side and its slight reverse sheer. Now, I am a fan of reverse sheer and its 1930s speedboat look, but you need a firmer line to give character. This half-hearted sheerline makes it look rather lumpy and unnatractive.
Also on display was the Trinity 500, the Sea Cadets' new training boat. It is rotomoulded and rather horrid. You really couldn't row this thing with pride. A boat designed by a committee, probably mostly consisting of media relations advisers, health and safety experts and industrial design gurus.


Chris C said...

I don't know, the Trinity looks like a better bet than the ASC it replaces. The ASC always looked laughable being rowed by cadets due to the seemingly appalling ergonomics. At least the Trinity is finer lined and just over half the weight. It also seems to have been properly designed with self rescue in mind by a designer with serious pedigree in rotomoulded boats and seems to cost the Sea Cadet units the tiny amount of £1250 fully equipped.

Chris Partridge said...

I suppose I was being a bit grumpy. The boat has all the benefits you outline, although people have said to me that it does not row well. The problem with this is that cadets won't row it much (because it is no fun), won't build up the skills and techniques, and will then have to switch on the engine whenever they can't sail. The result was that all the Trinity 500s in the Queen's Jubilee Pageant were motored. A pity.

Chris C said...

From my observations the Sea Cadets don't really row much anyway, they seem more keen on 'boat drills' such as towing and retrieving things from the water. I think much of the problem is that they see rowing as an excuse to pack as many cadets in a boat as possible and tire them out. I have seen many a poor mite plonked in the bow seat of an ASC, holding the handle of an oar above their head and still barely able to touch the water with the other end. The rest of them propel the heavily laden tub so slowly it looks absolutely joyless. I am sure that the Trinity probably a fairly poor-average rower but it looks like a big leap forward. The real surprise is that they managed to get Jo Richards (Olympic medallist, America's Cup designer etc. etc) to design something so conventional.

Chris Partridge said...

Perhaps the Sea Cadet officers need a course on the joys of rowing, to get them to teach it properly. Teenagers can be inspired - at Langstone Cutters a group of 14 yr olds did rowing for their D of E, and got so keen they did the Great River Race. Very good they are too.

Anonymous said...

Some of us fully understand the 'joys' of pulling a boat.
(You might row; we pull).
We also understand the joys of training cadets in boatmanship,
and in using a boat for purposes
(Like landing the Marine cadets, recovering them, transporting stores, travelling)
Rather than endlessly, grumpily rowing around Langstone Harbour.

The boat is perfect for training cadets to pull, sail and motor.
It's less than perfect for moving people and stores.

Sorry to be as rude as you were, Chris.
I won't mind if you don't publish this.