The blog will now be devoted not to boat building but to my 82-year-old Vertue, Sally II, now undergoing a well needed refit at Johnson & Loftus in Ullapool (and gliding...)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

As I was Saying...

...before the Summer intervened, it's been a quiet year for new boats but interesting one for new projects.Whereas the wherewithal to commission a new boat seems to have taken a dive, seems like a lot of folk are upgrading, or tweaking. There is, for example, that Mik Storer-designed Goat Island Skiff in the workshop (or rather outside it) at the moment, into which I have grafted a new mizzen step while moving the main mast step forward to balance. The owner wants more speed, (and I told him) more complexity. But, hey-ho, what's a boat for except to tweak.

I had never come across a GIS before, and at first glance was a little sniffy. Plywood, naturally, flat of bottom and slab of sides, and yet the more I looked, the more I began to see the elegance in her design. That chine, which looks so abrupt, turns into a V when the boat heels, and like all skiffs, adds to tracking ability.

This one was exceptionally built, if rather pernickety. The builder clearly loved making little gadgets out of aluminium, including a clever (and to my mind unnecessary) remote bailer control. A nice bit of engineering though, and an example of a number of little touches in a really well built boat.

One thing I was asked to do was make the tiller folding, and this was my solution. The owner also wanted a forward rowing thwart and I am making him some new oars with Gaco plastic spoon blades to a really clever design that takes a length of 2 x 4, parallelograms it, and then rips it from top edge to bottom to make two perfectly matched trapezoid looms.

More projects to come. Meanwhile here is how to make a pair of really nice oars...

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