Tuesday 4 August 2015

End of an Era

You may have noticed the blog header has changed. For those of you who have already forgotten what it looked like, here it is for one last time.
It is my favourite image of my sliding seat Chippendale Sprite, Snarleyow, taken at East Head looking out towards Thorney Island about ten years ago.
Since then we have been all over Chichester and Langstone harbours, round Hayling Island, up the Hamble, Itchen and Arun, down the Thames, round the Broads and down the Severn. She has changed colour twice, got new gunwales and had her outriggers lifted. It's been such fun.
But lately we have been drifting apart. I have gone over to fixed seat rowing, partly because rowing with a crew is sociable and keeps me fitter (no opportunity for a little break every ten strokes) but also because my legs don't seem to enjoy being flexed to their maximum extent so much these days.
She has been spending more and more time upside down behind the house, looking more and more despondent.
So I bit the bullet and passed her on to Graham who is an amazing craftsman and rower, and is giving her a new lease of life.
I am now looking for a boat that sails as well as rows, to take part in Dinghy Cruising Association rallies. John Welsford's Walkabout design is the front runner. Has anybody got one for sale? If not, can anybody recommend a builder in southern England who could knock one up really cheap?


Brian said...

Hi Chris, hope the head is healing up ok. Finding a used Walkabout could be difficult. Osbert has built a new boat, Clint Chase's Drake, so he might sell his Walkabout? To,build one will be expensive in time and money pus trailer etc. there are a lot of decent cheap boats about just now, but not as perfect as Walkabout. John has a simpler sail and oar design which is designed as a very quick build, called Saturday Night. Special, now updated to Sunday Night Special. Perhaps your pals at the HBBr could knock one up for you. It is supposed to be very quick to build. http://jwboatdesigns.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/saturday-night-special-day-or-so-later.html

Of the secondhand boats for sale, there is Cygnus CY15, the hull Hamble Rowers use, rigged with sail. Very nice boat.


Graham Neil said...

Define Cheap.

Bursledon Blogger said...

Chris, end of an era indeed, so is the choice a rowing boat that sails or a sailing boat that rows? very different beasts. I imagine the majority of the DCA are sail foremost with oars for calms? In which case ease of launch, easy to rig and get going - Vivier's Ilur has always been a favourite of mine or the Aber which is more rowing but still sails nicely.

Good luck with your search


Chris Partridge said...

Brian, thanks for that. I am going to have a look at it.
Graham - I am coming rapidly to the conclusion that 'cheap' is defined as 'much less than any self-respecting boatbuilder would charge'.
Max - you are correct in saying the DCA prioritises sail over oar. In fact, many of them are totally allergic to rowing of any kind. I want a boat that rows upwind and sails downwind. No tiresome tacking for me.

Unknown said...

Hi Chris - I use my Walkabout for rowing, and sometimes downwind sailing, much as you are planning. I love this boat, it's just what I wanted, but that's also because she's big enough to camp aboard for a week or more. Is that what you want? If not, Walkabout may be bigger and heavier than you need. The Drake that Osbert has now built should be a faster rowing boat, proven with a downwind sail, lighter and cheaper to build. Ray Frechette, a pro builder in Maine, estimated 10,000US$ to build a Walkabout several years ago.

Best - Rick Thompson

Brian said...

Just chatting with my son Edward about Walkabout and he mentioned that Osbert has been thinking of selling his Wlakabout, his daughters talked him out of it I think. Well worth asking him. http://forthsailoar.osbert.org