Recent comments from pirates, comrades and partners in crime have been really helpful. John Almberg (the Unlikely boat builder) suggested a return to an older (and in my view) more wholesome approach to getting a boat. Finding a local boat builder who knows the local waters and who can build a suitable vessel from scratch. He mentioned the designs of Howard Chapple and his idea is very tempting. There is a something very special about the American boats John mentions. They were powerful fast and very elegant, sadly few of them came to the UK, probably because, with a few exceptions, Europe simply didn’t have that kind of money and/or the appreciation of the ‘new’. For many Europeans ‘old’ is beautiful, new is simply brash.
I know that if I had the resources to purchase and maintain one of those ocean greyhounds I would neither hesitate nor look back.
Still, the notion of commissioning a ‘one off’ vessel is appealing and I do happen to know a man. I’ll talk to him within the next week or so.
Meanwhile Michael Arnott has just completed a crossing from Bristol to Lundy Island and back. 40 miles of open water and some of the fiercest tides in Europe, he’s written an account of it in comments under my piece about the 'ideal' boat', once again drawing me towards the Westerly range of boats and re-kindling interest (yet again) in the Centaur. Maybe I should take a second look?
So, we have a long holiday weekend ahead with an extra day tagged on for us Brits because the Queen has been on the throne for a significant length of time, so she’s given everyone a day off. Still got no boat but we do have a kayak so it’ll be a trip to the end of the estuary and maybe up river to the truly beautiful French medieval town of Dinan for a glass of muscadet and a bowl of Moules Frites.
Visited Michael Zessller's blog the other day(A Bone in its Teeth) and was really taken by some of his Youtube movie clips – taken from a canoe that looks remarkably similar to mine – except he had a sail and outriggers. Probably cost a fortune BUT maybe, just maybe, I could knock something together.
Mmm dreaming again