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Tim's Boating Blog

Wednesday 5th July

Classic Boat Festival celebrating Birdham Pool Marina.

Please contact Birdham Pool Marina office, or Tim Gilmore if you would like to attend with your boat.

 

Friday 16th June

The ongoing re-development programme at Birdham Pool is continuing at a brisk pace now. With the conversion of the old offices/workshops into 4 cottages complete (two of them sold) and the new crane fully operational the focus is now on the three Atcost buildings (sheds) and furnishing the old shipway into more hard standing and car parking spaces.

The Atcosts have had all the original asbestos sheets they were clad with removed from the walls and new metal cladding has been fitted in their place. The roof panels have remained but all the transparent sky light panels have been replaced which has made a huge difference to the amount of natural light available inside.

We operate from the shed nearest the slipway so the contractors were our very near neighbours whilst all the ground work to fill the slipway was going on! They kept us informed with what was going to happen at each stage and even when they had to dig trenches for a new drain right round the building they carried out the work with minimum disruption to us. We thought we would have to move out of the shed for a while whilst all the cladding etc. was replaced but not so. We were so pleased because with the work commencing in early spring we were getting to our busiest time of the year.

 

 

Sunday 8th January

As part of the redevelopment programme currently underway at Birdham Pool, the 'old faithful ' Pettibone mobile crane has been sold on, and a new 30ton pillar crane installed. The ground work necessary to achieve this was considerable with long reinforced concrete piles etc . The completed work looks very smart with new concrete apron and plinth that the pillar is mounted on. The crane is all electric, therefore very quiet in operation, also the jet washing facility is electric too, housed in a small building adjacent to the crane.

The railway slipway at the Pool is now no longer in use, and the famous old turntable arrangement at the top of it has been removed and the well it sat in now filled in and made into extra yard space.

Saturday 24th June

The Classic Boat Festival and Open Weekend is coming soon! Please see the poster below for more details.

Sunday 13th December

The 12 foot Acorn Skiff we built a couple of years ago found a buyer earlier this year, so I set to and made the spars and oars for her, fitted a mast step and partners, bought some polished gunmetal rowlocks and ordered a sail from Arun Sails in Bosham.

By the time all that had been done and her new owner had a few other things to worry about (like getting married!) the summer had slipped past and it was right at the end of September when we finally delivered her to her new home in South Devon.

She is to be looked after by Tristan Stone and his team at Stones Boatyard in East Portlemouth on the other side of the Kingsbridge Estuary from Salcombe. It was Tristan who put the boats potential new owner, Mr Conrad Clarke in touch with me initially.

After a few little adventures in the maze of single track roads that surround East Portlemouth, parts of which can be under a couple of feet of water depending on the state of tide, we finally arrived and met Conrad and his wife who thankfully were delighted with the boat.

Tristan then gave us a tour of his immaculate set up where he conducts his timer sales business and looks after all the beautiful Salcombe Yarwls and wooden launches that are kept on the Estuary.

Tristan had some input with the skiff build from the start really because he supplied me some excellent Sitka Spruce to plank her up with.

It's good to know that the boat will get pampered in such beautiful surrounds.

 

 

It was quite a day getting all sorted and it was good that we didn't have to drive back to West Sussex that same day. We were able to stay on a friend's boat that night, then have a look round Salcombe the next day and have a more leisurely drive home via Start Bay / Slapton Sands with a stop for an excellent fish and ships lunch in The Start Bay Inn (thoroughly recommended!).

With the Skiff safe and sound in East Portlemouth my attentions had to turn somehow to repairing my own boat 'Widget III'

I was keeping 'Widget' at Paynes Boatyard, Prinsted at the top of the Thorney Channel and my youngest daughter and I were enjoying some quality time out on the water together which was great, but over Christmas 2013 a savage gale caught the boat out while she was still on the pontoon outside the boatyard. Poor old 'Widget' was badly damaged on her starboard side, but Mark Douglas who owns the yard, rescued her and put her ashore in the yard out of further harms way.

I managed to get 'Widget' onto a trailer during Summer 2014 and towed her round to Birdham and put her in our shed, but then was unable to get the time to carry out the repairs.

All the repairs are done now however. She is ready to go again but now the weather is so awful I have kept her ashore.

A total of 4 plank repair sections and a dozen new steamed timbers on the starboard side were needed to put all right.

Looking forward to some quieter weather to get her back round to Prinsted by water.

 

 

Tuesday 2nd September

The Bosham Classic Boat Revival is on this coming weekend! More details can be found here.

Sunday 16th August

The Birdham Pool Classic Boat Open Weekend on Saturday and Sunday 11th and 12th of July was a great sucess.

With a very happy gathering of like minded people and their boats, some very good weather on the Saturday and some excellent live music there were a great many people around and the Pool was buzzing.

As well as the boats, there were quite a few classic cars and motorbikes for people to look at!

There is also a short video you can view here (315mb)

 

Tuesday 30th June

Boleh finally gets to make the move from the site in Eastney, Portsmouth, where she has been restored, to Chichester Marina, where she is to be launched and united with her spars that we have assembled over the last few days. Almost the end of an odyssey spanning at least six years.

 

Sunday 8th February

In 2013, my father, who was eight four at the time, decided that he must 'swallow the anchor' and sell his boat. She was his third boat and he had owned her for thirty years. He had been a member of Redclyffe Yacht Club on the river Frome that flows into Poole Harbour since 1972.

In the earliest days with a boat we sailed as a family of four: - Mum, Dad, my younger sister Joanne and myself. We spent many happy days of weekends and summer holidays around Poole Harbour or over to Christchurch and the Solent before venturing further afield to the West Country, North Brittany and on one occasion, Holland.

When Dad sold the boat, he drew a line under all boating activity completely and cancelled his membership of Redclyffe Yacht Club. It was the end of an era, memories are what you have remaining. I thought Dad might like something to remind him of happy days on the water to keep those memories alive so I decided to paint him a picture.

In search of inspiration I was working my way through all my boating memorabilia and happened to come across a photo of Dad's first boat hiding between the pages of the 'Heron Class Association Year Book' (I built Heron dinghy No. 9087 when I was in my teens with the help of Dad's brother, Uncle Frank who had been a shipwright time served with Charles Hill and Sons in Bristol)

It was one of very few photos of this boat we had (Photo media was nothing like as ubiquitous in the 1970's as it is today!)

She was a 22 foot 'seamew' class designed by Ian Proctor and sold either as a complete boat or a very good kit of wooden parts by Bell Woodworking, Leicester.

Dad purchased a Bell kit early in 1972. Without going into detail somehow he managed to devote enough time to this project to enable us to have a holiday in the boat in August of that same year. Looking back goodness knows how he achieved it. I remember helping him after school and during the holidays, but as an eleven year old I could only be of limited assistance.

The boat was named 'Aquileo' and was Seamew number 112.

Through a friend of a friend, Dad managed to let one of Redclyffe Yacht Club's moorings for the rest of the season, so we had a safe and convenient base from which to take our first sailing steps.

Dad was a Bristol Channel Pilot, so the sea and handling boats were his life, but he had to contend with novice wife and kids. Mum, from the onset was not a keen sailor and could not swim, but I think her faith in Dad to look after us all enabled her to go afloat in this small sailing cruiser with little more than 4 foot head room and other primitive arrangements, and still manage to enjoy herself! Needless to say we had many thrills and spills during that first season getting used to 'Aquileo'

The Seamew had a lifting keel with a 'torpedo' of cast iron on the bottom of it. With the keel raised she drew only 1ft 9 inches which was useful in the shallows of Poole Harbour. With the keel lowered, the draft increased to 4ft 2 inches and with all the ballast therefore in the right place the boat 'stiffened up' very nicely and sailed very well indeed.

Here is the picture I painted of her for Dad. The photo I used as reference was taken on a beautiful day while we were anchored for a couple of hours off the mouth of the Beaulieu River.

 

 

Monday 28th July

The Wooden Boat open day event that Birdham Pool hosted on Saturday 19th July went very well. The weather was kind to us, lots of people turned up, there was a great atmosphere . 'Black Lady' back on the turntable again for the first time since she was launched from the Pool in 1947. She was built by Birdham Shipyard to a design of M G Duff.

About a dozen lovely wooden attended, all berthed together around the service jetties. We had a few nice smaller boats gathered around the front of our shed, including a delightful little launch on vintage trailer, towed by a period Ferguson tractor.

The Marina were so encouraged, that they plan to host future similar events.

 

Saturday 26th April

Premier Marinas had an official opening of their new boatyard facility at Chichester Marina. There is a completely resurfaced hard standing, a large shed flanked on both sides by units occupied and to be occupied by brokers, riggers, engineers, electronics specialist, chandlery etc.

 

Sunday 29th June

Birdham Pool is going to stage a Wooden Boat Open Weekend on Saturday/Sunday 19/20th July. Why not bring your own Classic for an overnight stay at Birdham Pool? Visitors berths available. The more wooden boats the merrier!

The photo below is of Black Lady on her launch day in 1947. She was built by Birdham Shipyard, and is returning to the Pool for the weekend to come up the slip, and sit on the turntable once again for another photo to be taken! (more photos of her can be seen here)
 

 

Saturday 26th April

Premier Marinas had an official opening of their new boatyard facility at Chichester Marina. There is a completely resurfaced hard standing, a large shed flanked on both sides by units occupied and to be occupied by brokers, riggers, engineers, electronics specialist, chandlery etc.

The weather was initially kind and there seemed to be a lot of people around, various attractions were laid on including Morris Dancers!
 

 


The Boleh Project

The Boleh Project in Portsmouth had an open day on Sunday 27th April.

Boleh is being restored by Boleh Trust to be used for sail training young people when she is completed. The trust has employed young people throughout the project as apprentice shipwrights. Always grateful for any support given, why not have a look at their website:

www.bolehproject.com

 

Emsworth Oyster Boat 'Terror'

On the 14th May 2014 at 7pm, Chichester Harbour Conservancy is holding a public meeting at Emsworth to discuss the future of the last Victorian Oyster boat.


It is hoped that a strong team of committed individuals will come together to take over management of her continued use and maintenance to a high standard.

After being relaunced in 2006 after being completely restored by us at Dolphin Quay Boatyard, she has been available to book for day sailing trips through the summer each year.

For more details please contact Adrian Karn, Deputy Harbour Master at karn@conservancy.co.uk or call (01243) 512301.

 

 
Copyright 2017 Tim Gilmore Ltd, a company registered in England (Company Number 7526603) whose registered office is at 8 Ashgrove Road, Redland, Bristol BS6 6LY. Tel: 01179 9736496 Email: enquiries@woodenboatsforever.co.uk