Friday, 5 April 2013

A Good Rowboat.

Why start a blog? I have been messing around in boats on Benfleet creek all my life & dont suppose i will ever get bored with it.
First decent rowboat i ever had was this 16ft clinker Skiff, built as a Southend pier hire skiff in the 30's. A fleet of around 30 worked off the beach near where the 3 shells cafe is today.

Southend hire Skiff, pic taken around 1989
I bought her from Halcons yard at Canvey point & rowed her home to Benfleet one flat calm September evening under a huge harvest moon. Her bottom was covered in barnacles so she was rather sluggish. Halfway home a seal started following me & swam next to the boat for half a mile actually dipping under the oars as i rowed.
I arrived back at the club very thirsty & just made last orders! 

The Skiff was very old & tired with all but one of her planks split & most of her ribs broken. Despite being held together with patches & polysulphide sealant she was a lovely boat that rowed extremely well & gave me a lifelong love of rowing.
In the end she became so leaky that she was laid up ashore & ended her days one winter in the workshop stove. I never did give her a name!

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