Mark and I were at the workshop today for a significant part of our latest skiff’s completion; the turning. She looks very good, and quite different now. She is shallow but wide, and will be quite stable. I normally say turning is about half way through the build and this will be the same. What we save by having no rudder and tiller and a much simpler gunwale will be balanced out by the extra time needed to build the buoyancy chambers.
Much to Tom’s delight, we wont be drilling a “perrem hole” in the bottom of a “perfectly serviceable craft” as she is small enough to just tip her over to empty any water she may collect underway. Mark will be contacting all members to ask for help to clean the epoxy ‘over spill’ from the inside prior to the next build phase; chamber carcassing, thwarts, gunwales, oars and finally, painting.
After a lot of discussion and plenty of studying of plans we measured up and cut down the first of our new lighter oars. It was quite time consuming and at times confusing, but the result is the beginnings of a very neat slender set of oars. A lot thinner and a very different shape from the present set. We got the first one done tonight and now that we know what we’re doing the rest should be quicker and easier.
We thought it might be sensible to try Ouse Rewet out before her official launch (on 30th April), just to make sure she floats, you understand. She behaved perfectly and looks really nice in her fresh livery. We had a good look at several of the reed beds around the edge of our practice lake then put Scottie as Cox, which helped a little. At least one of us could now see where we were going!
Ouse Réwet nears completion and is nearly ready for sea-trials. (People keep asking us… “Rewet: to wet, drench, saturate, soak imply moistening something. To wet is to moisten in any manner with water or other liquid: to wet or dampen a cloth. Drench suggests wetting completely as by a downpour: A heavy rain drenched the fields.” or in Olde English: “Réwet: rowing”
The new lighter-weight oars proved successful and popular when tested over a 5-mile row.
We’ve kept up our twice-weekly afternoon workshops throughout winter – similar to keeping up the rowing. Such is our enthusiasm!
Ouse Réwet nears completion, Lynn Réwet is in great shape and now there’s another boat in the workshop; a potential safety boat in the form of a RIB, which is being assessed before we’re committed to buying.
So there’s always plenty to do. During the winter we’ve seen some new faces at the workshop who have bought new skills, broadened the scope of what we do and are very much welcomed.
Amongst the new faces are our group of students from the College of West Anglia, who join us regularly for a taste of boatbuilding. We’re planning to take the group beyond boatbuilding and out of the workshop, onto the water and into rowing. All in 2016.
Whilst building our second St Ayles skiff, Ouse Réwet, we’ve considered improving the footrests used on Lynn Réwet and come up with some options. The originals were always meant to be somewhat experimental and have actually done pretty well, considering they weren’t expected to last long. But now, with a bit of experience and an understanding of how important they are to rowing, we could do with something better.
So here’s a collection of examples trawled from other clubs (thanks and acknowledgements to their sources):
Rowporty – centred, rails glued to hull
Ullapool (Coigach)- centered, adjustment rail fixed to keelson
Ayle of Quinte – adjustment rails hung under thwart
We’ve made some prototypes, for comparison:
They’re at the North Lynn workshop, to see. Or use the Comments, below to have your say.
We were really pleased to welcome a group of student volunteers from the College of West Anglia today, when they visited to get a taste of what a coastal rowing club is about and some hands-on boatbuilding.
Course Leader Caroline Greyson is hopeful that we can make the visits a regular feature and we hope that the students are inspired by boatbuilding and coastal rowing.
Our second skiff, Ouse Rewet, is ready for turning. That means her planking, keel and stems are complete, she has a protective undercoat, and she is about half way to launching.
We have also laid a standard 1 km at our practice water, Priory Lake and will shortly lay a standard 1 mile too. We have also realised that from the Kings Lynn slipway around the first bridge and back is 4 km so; we should have some exciting racing coming up with some easily timed courses and 2 skiffs to compete against each other.
Last Saturday saw us competing against the 2 Blakeney skiffs at Blakeney. We came a respectable 3rd (out of 3!) and learned a lot of lessons. The CRABs were very welcoming and friendly, as always, and everyone had a great time. Added to the wish-list for our builder’s are lighter oars and better foot rests. I cant wait to return the favour and invite the CRABs to a 4-boat race in our Great Ouse!