Wednesday 24 December 2014

Onwards & Upwards!

Bit of a funny old year, after losing the shed i had to revert back to working from a much smaller workshop.
First job was to finish a new rowing Skiff for a customer, i had started setting her up at the Scout hut but had to break the building jig down again when i moved out.
He had originally enquired about one of the 18ft Hanningfield Skiffs but felt it was too much boat for him & his young family.
I had been contemplating building a Cosine wherry for myself but at 14ft we felt she was too small. In the end the boat can be said to be inpsired by the Cosine but has some differences, there are no published offsets & the patterns supplied with the book rip strip & row were hopelessly innacurate, I ended up with something similar but stretched out to a more useful 16ft 6" long Displacement was also increased slightly to account for building in GRP.

 Here she is on launch day! Named Gracie May after the owners young Daughter

We had a scant 20 minutes trial before she was loaded back on her trailer for the trip up north to Scotland to her new home at Newhaven rowing club.
Oars in the photos were too long so were shortend 6"

Stern view, She rowed very well & has excellent potential.
Being smooth skinned she is a far easier boat to lay up than the simulated clinker boats like the Hanningfield skiff.

I am now building a second one as i need a show boat!
Launching soon.

Monday 5 May 2014

Launching Continued

Just got sent a few more photos by a friend Graeme sweeney who took these from the yacht club as we went past.
He is available for Weddings, Barmitzvahs & of course marine photography!

This was just as she set off for the first time, great thing was after the first three strokes the crew broke into a spontaneous cheer as the Gig accelerated!

The smiles say it all, Cox needs to lay of the pies though!

Sunday 4 May 2014

Seax Gig Launching

The Great day arrived at last, its been some months of limbo as she sat in the yard & i worked flat out on a commision for a client (more on that one shortly!)
For a builder launching a new boat is always a slightly worrying time but when he has designed her as well its even more so!

 Here is the new Seax Gig sitting at the top of the slipway with Penny Jones, East Coast Rowing Association Chairman & Southend Coastal rowing Club committee member at the bow.

The Gig was launched with a libation to Neptune from a bottle of Champers poured over the bow, we drank the rest!

Sea trials went extremely well, its a long time since some of us were in a Gig but all were well pleased, she sat exactly on her marks (Big relief!) She seems slightly tippier than the old Hanningfield Gigs but this is to be expected with a boat that is longer & slimmer.
Once down the creek the crew gave it some power & she started to fly, looking aft from the coxes seat the stern wave was a long way behind her.
It was readily apparent that the Gig ran faster than the oars as they were set would allow, I need to increase the gearing by moving the oar sleeves inboard approx 4" at stroke & bow & slightly less at 2 & 3 seats.
All in all a great success. Jobs this week are Oars to be altered & non slip panels glued into the bilge. Then she can go racing.
Thanks are due to Penny, Adrian, Pat & Phil for the pleasure of a fine maiden voyage.

Sunday 12 January 2014

Out at last

A good day today, a crew of friends assembled to help move the new Gig out of the shed. A nice sunny day made it easy!

Left to Right Penny, Pierre, Adrian & my son Nick.

Also helping were Southend Coastal Rowing club chairman Pat o Connor & Craig elliot.

General consensus was that she seems slightly lighter than Dauntless.

                             There was about 1" clearance either side of the door just enough to get her out.
Pat made the comment "she reminds me of a welsh longboat", i suppose there is a resemblence but this one is 27' 6 " long.
Unfortunately she will be the last boat built in the shed as the local Council thought they would hike the rent to an unviable level. Sad thing is now it will stand empty & earn nothing until they demolish it at vast cost to the council tax payer. And so support to small buisness goes!
Still its been a good year and somewhere else has already been found for the next one.