20 July 2021

Little boats = More exciting

 Settled fine and warm weather enable this little craft to be enjoyed to the full and what a blast it is on the water. 20 knots feels quite fast enough.  The first video shows me and Andrew planing along the coast from Teignmouth to the Parson & Clerk stack of red sandstone and along the exposed rail line that is hving to be strengthened at Dawlish by loads of ugly concrete walls. The engineering of which is quite inferior to Brunel's original masonry. At intervals of approximately 20 feet the use of rubber expansion inserts have been used all along the wall so far built. Those rubber inserts are already degraded and hanging loose all along the wall where recent storms have hit.


And the next video is taken the same week at Babbacombe where the crowded beach is being enjoyed .

Soon I am off to Brixham and across Torbay past the Arcadia and Queen Victoria liners moored up and polluting the atmosphere and emptied of the bow tie brigade and cocktail gowned guests.

And here is where the lunch box sandwiches and coffee flask are emptied. Beneath us there are plenty of Bass and Mullet swimming in the harbour.

And the very next day Matthew and I are Bass fishing and enjoying the little cove just south of Dawlish known as Shell Cove. Its only here that one is able to find the little Cowry shells sometimes used as necklaces or wristlets. 

Seals were basking on the rocks near here

Landing on the deserted beach and looking for some shade - but there was none.

Still waters edge this deserted cove

30 degrees or more of heat - It was here that a yacht carrying illegal immigrants was found in distress only eighteen months ago.  The crew are now serving time in prison.

5 July 2021

River Dart - Totnes to Dartmouth trip

Tied up at the pontoon where we enjoy our coffee and sandwiches
The boating party
Approaching Dartmouth the yachts get bigger and new marinas appear
Dittisham where we spot Rocket the Dimbleby Yacht of the popular T/V adventure series
Keeping strictly to the 6 knot speed limit
The upper reaches approaching Totnes and the quiet Honda outboard helps keep our intrusion minimal on the peaceful scenary.

25 September 2020

Woody Runabout - Sea Trial

 With two well built crew this little craft performs beyond expectations with it's 20 hp Honda outboard (4 stroke).

The youtube video here was taken in Labrador Bay, South Devon where there are a several cruise liners anchored with zero passengers and nowhere to go.

The sea state was only slightly choppy and with a gentle ground swell. The wind was light and the run shows us about two miles offshore, between The Ness and The Oar Stone. Just around the headland is Torbay, Torquay and Brixham.

26 August 2020

Woody Runabout phase 24 - Appraisal & Trials

Job done and time to reflect on my labours. One of the most satisfying projects undertaken to date for this hobby woodworker. Several river, Estuary and coastal trips at sea have now been taken to fully test this classic craft. Not exactly a copy of the true 1930 style below the waterline, since the spray rails and degree of rocker used is not akin to that era at all. Instead I have gotten the design to look very much like the true classic above the waterline and chosen the more modern and very much more seaworthy features found on modern day craft. There is quite a lot of rocker and a "V" section hull with pronounced spray rails to trap air under the hull and ride through waves, without porpoising or too much slamming, (subject to sensible choice of speed through choppy water).
Top speed with this Honda outboard is in excess of 20 mph (as measured by GPS). This speed was achieved on a slightly choppy sea run and is reckoned to be less than could be reached on calm water.
The turns are quite stable and flat with no tendency to trip or wallow. The rails afford considerable extra stability to the roll. 

Today a run from Totnes to Dittisham on the river Dart was enjoyed, taking two hours in all at no more than six knots - the most permitted speed here. The Honda is not too thirsty and only consumed five litres for this round trip.

The previous day I made round trip of 12 miles along the coast between Teignmouth and Dawlish Warren. The freshening breeze on the return leg gave rise to a choppy sea but no water was shipped and myself and co-driver stayed dry for most of the time.

8 August 2020

Woody Runabout Pase 23 & Launch Time

"Hurry slowly" has to be the mantra towards achieving the result wanted at this late stage and the varnishing of oil based over epoxy resin. Application onto a surface of epoxy that still shed an amine bloom after three days of rubbing down and washing. The result was a coat that wrinkled and failed to dry properly. Like toffee, it was scraped off and sanded with wet and dry, then allowed to dry for several more days before another coat of varnish was applied and ft to sufficiently dry for work to continue as normal.  The interesting thing was the fact that the bow section of deck was not so severely affected, due to the fact that it had sun dried beneath the garage skylights.
Even at this late stage I am finding items that require attention. The heavy duty battery wiring had to be soldered for more durable connections, The floor needed a further coat of yacht enamel to obliterate some messy touching up and scuffs. The rubber grommets for the remotes had to be secured with sikaflex adhesive (rubbery and very sticky to apply). The "tennis racquet" seats secured more rigidly with cable ties onto the bench seat support.
The trailer is made ready with side rails - additional support alongside the rollers, and adjusted to conform more closely to the hull shape.

The motor  is checked over and the wiring is good to go. The fair weather weekend gives the moment for launching. I am awake at 4am and like a kid at Christmas about to creep downstairs to see what Santa has left !

The old car battery chose to give up the ghost, so an early morning trip to Mole Valley Farmers store gets me a new one (as backup). By 10.30am William and me are afloat on the Teign Estuary with grins from ear to ear. Not too much throttle, gently with the steering and heading west upstream into the warm westerly breeze.
At Coombe Cellars we turned to head back under the Shaldon Bridge and return to the harbour. Busy with summer traffic. We head out through the mouth of the estuary on the ebb tide at a rate of knots. The choppy bar is crossed without hesitation and the Bass are jumping by the Ness and we head on into Labrador bay.

Impressed by the quiet exhaust note and the ample power available at half throttle. The running in period is strictly adhered to, though the temptation to push forward is ever present. Briefly we opened up the throttle a little and she gradually rises up onto the plane. Into the turns the ride is quite flat, hardly any bank as the deep spray rails do what they are supposed to do - of keeping the craft on rails.

The buoyancy / stability is excellent, as I lean out over the gunnel there is only minimal roll. My worries over the degree of rocker I had used were quite unfounded, since there is no tendency to porpoise when the rise up onto the plane remains perfectly level. Apologies for not having images to show just yet. Too much excitement to bother with the camera, but they will follow shortly now this brief shakedown is done with.

Altogether I can say I am tickled pink with my design.

Ready for the road

Ready for the water

Ready to go !