Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A tub from Down Under

By 'tub' I don't mean this...

...but a training boat, not a fine or best boat. John Welsford, the Kiwi designer who knows a lot about fixed seat rowing, has designed a sliding seat double scull for Lake Rotorua so they can go out in sea states that would prevent rowing in fine boats. It may technically be a tub but it looks smart and elegant.
The idea is to provide a kit so clubs and individuals can build them themselves at low cost - all the details are on John's excellent blog here.
The chap who commissioned the design, Alistair Riddle, says the next prototype will have a fast derigging system to make the boat a bit lighter for loading onto the roof rack on the car. John says he knows of a way of doing it that 'won't bust peoples boilers', but I would say that removing the riggers before loading onto a car is very desirable as it avoids many horrible scratches in the paintwork caused by the gates gouging the metal. Don't ask how I know this.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Strike a Light

The onset of Winter last Sunday means wind and rain today so no rowing. Instead I spent an enjoyable time researching the Bryant and May factory in East London for another blog I write, Ornamental Passions.
In the course of research (isn't Google fantastic for people who want to look intelligent but can't be arsed with libraries?) I came across these early 20th century matchboxes.
The Swedish matches above are clearly destined for the British market, showing a naval cutter rowed by sturdy tars and flying the Union Jack (although a real naval cutter would presumably fly the White Ensign at the stern).
The Japanese match industry clearly wanted to get in on the act, but their cutter is in the Imperial Japanese Navy and flies the Flag of the Rising Sun.
The designer of the earlier one (above) has added a bowman, but the bloke who drew the later design has cut the crew from six to four and removed the facial hair from the seamen. The coxswain seems to have been promoted as well - with all that gold lace he must be an admiral at least.
Also, my standing search on eBay came up with a very jolly seaside postcard from America illustrating that you should beware of wishing for things in case they come true.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Why I skived off work today (again)

Because it was like this:
There were a surprising number of boats on the water, given it was a Monday. Several yachts were clearly out on the basis that another opportunity will almost certainly not present itself to them until well into next year. The trainers of Releasing Potential were out training in the St Ayles skiffs, so they can teach young n'ere-do-wells how to row.
Shortly after this picture was taken, the fog rolled in and gloom descended.