LBT members at large column

posted Oct 22, 2018, 1:12 PM by Posts Editor   [ updated Oct 22, 2018, 1:13 PM ]
Andy Bullock writes: 

'During this southern hemisphere winter I spent seven weeks travelling in the UK and Ireland. I attended classic boat festivals in Wivenhoe, Essex; Falmouth, Cornwall; and Roundstone, County Galway, and hired boats on the Norfolk Broads, the Fal estuary, and Lake Winderemere. Initially I followed in the wake of two of my favourite nautical authors, Maurice Griffiths and Arthur Ransome, exploring the rivers and anchorages in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk on the east coast, then visited my ancestral villages in Cornwall and Scotland. 

I found some lovely harbours and sailing grounds, but many of these are very tidal and at low water there is often little water remaining. For example at Wivenhoe, a gorgeous village on the banks of the Colne River, the wonderful, fast Essex oyster smacks made a glorious sight under sail at high tide, but at low water only a trickle of water is left between massive mud banks on either side, into which moored boats settle for the duration. On the Cornish coast, there are numerous impossibly quaint rock-walled harbours, but the majority drain to become almost dry as the tide recedes, so that boats must either use legs or twin keels to stay upright over the period of low water. 

Many locations have their own local traditional design, suited to local conditions. East Anglia has its oyster smacks and sprit-sail, leeboard barges, Falmouth has its deeper, straight-stemmed work boats, Looe had lovely Redwing clinker racing dinghies designed by Uffa Fox, Salcombe in Devon has Salcombe yawls, Fowey has its 18ft Troy class keelboats, County Galway on the west coast of Ireland has the sturdy, black Galway Hookers, etc, etc. 

On the negative side, everywhere was crowded and driving on both the motorways and narrow local roads challenging. Overall, our sailing waters in Tasmania can't be beaten!' 

Essex oyster smack, Wivenhoe. 

Spritsail barges, Pin Mill

Gaff Yacht, River Deben, Suffolk. 

Norfolk Broads Yacht. 

Falmouth pilot cutter: Redwing, Looe, Cornwall;

Galway Hookers, Roundstone, Ireland.