Equipment (or human) failure…

It would appear that the likely cause of the damage to Bluejacket at the weekend was the failure of the thole pin to snap under pressure – which is what they are intended to do; thereby avoiding damage to the boat. Something we have proved several times in Hoi Larntan!

When we built Bluejacket we tried a system with just a single pin with a wooden locating plate on the oar. For that we needed a much more robust thole pin.

Having, this year, made the decision to standardise both boats and revert to using the pin and kabe set-up which Hoi Larntan has had throughout, we forgot to remove the robust pins from Bluejacket and failed to replace them with sacrificial softer pine ones.

Aaaah, a lesson learnt.

Accidents will happen…

Rather a loud crack they tell me but the oar didn’t break! – just opened up the gunwale…


Not quite as bad as it looks…Rob releasing the broken part – making the angled cut you can see above – so we could get enough glue in to repair the damage…


Lots of epoxy and quite a few clamps…



Should be back in action in time for Tuesday’s row.

Thanks, Rob and Jenny.


Launch of Zandenise…

Zaznak Inland and Coastal Rowing launched their skiff Zandenise at the weekend. Our President, Anta went along with Stu and a boat from The Oarsome Chance project, ensuring a fellow skiff to welcome the newcomer.

Please note the ‘ergos’ (indoor rowing torture machines to you and me) – rumour has it (as yet unconfirmed) that the CRAB Strangford crews are due to be put through this delightful exercise routine on the Carnser before the next few outings…


Stuart leaving it to the kids…


A blessing…


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Fun for all…


Skiffing just makes you smile…


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Anta undertook an impromptu coaching session on coxing…


Welcome to Skiff number 125 (on the UK register) Zandenise!


As a side note, we still hold the trophy for the fastest St. Ayles skiff round Hayling Island. Our friends from Langstone, in skiff Bella, didn’t quite make it all the way this weekend. They had a bit of bad luck and ended up beached by Hayling island sailing club after rudder failure and big waves. The fastest team was lower Thames in their new Celtic longboat.

Slowly does it…

With Kings Lynn CRC and CRABlakeney, North Norfolk has four St Ayles skiffs on the water and earning their keep – built and rowed by a happy band of enthusiasts.

Now there is news of more activity. In a secret location in the outskirts of Wells-next-the-Sea, Barrie and I were led blind-fold to witness a beautiful sight….well, maybe not quite so dramatic, perhaps, but:

The team (Team Guella) led by Graham and inspired and egged on by Patsy, have battled a couple of enforced location changes and the North Norfolk winter weather but are now settled in a fine marquee. No heating and a single power lead from the nearby Scout hut – but nothing daunts skiff-builders.

The building frame, moulds and stems were set up and when we arrived last night, the team were just checking that the garboards (first planks next to the keel, ‘sand-strucks’ as they are known here in Norfolk!) had glued and fixed OK. All was well, so many hands made light work of shaping and preparing the next two planks.

Dry-fitting and presenting up to the ‘hull’, then tweaking a bit more before checking again, gradually a fair shape evolved. By the time we left, all was ready for glueing on Friday morning.

Working a couple of hours Wednesday evenings and Friday mornings only, means it is not the quickest build, but care and attention will ensure a rewarding result. Looking forward to the next milestone, the turning-over party.

Thank you for letting us come and see. Anything we can do to help, please let us know.



Racing at Manningtree

The weather was perfect for the long 7.5mile race down the Estuary of the River Stour. Bright sunshine, clear blue sky and a cooling breeze. High water was at 1.00pm so everything moved quite quickly once Hoi Larntan and her team had registered at 10.00am.

Roland coxed a 5 man veteran rowing team of Dan at Stroke, Tom and David in the engine room with Tony and Robin in bow. Starts and rounding buoys had been practiced, although the weather had been so bad at Blakeney in the run up to the event very little else had!

The slower fixed seat boats including HL started at 11.45am, the faster fixed seat boats at 12 Noon and sliding seat boats at 12.15 pm.

Despite a good start and excellent rowing at a steady rate of 28 throughout with bursts of speed when necessary HL finished well down the field with a time of 1 hour 24.5 mins, some 11.5 mins slower than last year.
Lessons learned were that with short races such as this one  a 5 person crew, not 6, with no changeovers is required. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the outing and is one that should firmly be in CRAB’s annual events calendar. It’s local, well organised, cheap to enter and tremendous fun.