Posted by: strathkanchris | October 9, 2010

100 grand and not out

Well it happened, we had our 100,000th view last night shortly before midnight (BST).  For those interested in such things the  20 most popular pages (by view numbers) since we started were

Title Views  
Home 19,936
Members Boats – Inspiration for the fain 10,647
Projects 4,195
Gallery 3,470
Cartopping home built boats 3,380
Cobnor June 2007 2,814
Cotswolds 2008 2,612
Epoxy – a warning 2,382
How to Do It 2,261
Make your own Dinghy Trestle (prop stand 2,036
Barton Turf – May 2009 1,655
Barton Turf Rally, May 2010 1,643
Barton Turf Rally May 2008 1,625
Future Events 1,490
Loch Ard Rally 2007 1,370
Seahorse 16 by Rod Standen 1,235
A load of old rowlocks 1,226
Beginner’s Clunky Ply – Strong Back 1,122
Cotswold Water Park -2010 1,111
Cotswolds 2009 1,109


The top twenty search phrases that found our site were

Search Views
hbbr 762
uk-hbbr 698
iain oughtred 479
home built boats 426
whilly tern 421
ukhbbr 384
sailing canoe 307
joel white shearwater 242
uk hbbr 166
oughtred elf 140
conrad natzio 135
selway fisher 135
macgregor canoe 135
hbbr uk 121
home built boat 118
pbo pup 116
paradox boat 115
kayak 109
pocket cruiser 107
homebuilt boats 92


Clearly these ought to be further consolidated, eg the variants on uk-hbbr that were used, but that would be a bit of geekiness too far. The last bit from the stats is the top twenty referrals from other sites to whom we extend our grateful thanks.

Referrer Views 662 491 454… 173 158… 155 137… 94 92… 68… 66… 64 63… 61… 56 54 48… 47… 45 41


And our most viewed picture?

Boats on the beach at Cotswold Water Park 2007

So thanks to those whose efforts have contributed to the content, either by putting pen to paper and contributing/commenting or simply by getting between the camera and horizon. Thanks also to the visitors – it is encouraging to see that somebody deemed us worthy of a visit. And yes, we do appreciate that in the ethereal webby world 100,000 in 30 months is very, very small beer – we like to think of our visitors in terms of quality rather than sheer quantity 😉

Posted by: strathkanchris | June 30, 2010

HBBR @ Portsoy Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

Last weekend saw the annual Trad Boat Festival at Portsoy , Scotland. The UK-HBBR has made a small impression here. Osbert Lancaster  brought his newly launched Welsford Walkabout up from the Forth to mix it with his colleagues from RowPorty with ‘Icebreaker’, their St Ayles Skiff for the Skiff racing Regatta. A good-looking boat the Walkabout showed a clean pair of heels whether under oar or sail. Unfortunately the sailing was so good Osbert stayed well offshore so that even with the big lens capturing him was difficult. Some of the snaps below are heavy crops so quality is shameful. A longstanding attendee was Roddy Hill with his Stevenson Weekender ‘Grey Goose’. Roddy had also been involved in the resuscitation of ‘Marret’, a small flat-bottomed skiff originally built as a garden ornament, now enjoying a life on the ocean wave in the hands of her young crew, a far better fate than the intended container for pelargoniums. A labour of love on somebody’s part she is traditionally built with ‘real’ wood and copper rivets. I suppose that since I had a hand in assembling a couple of the St Ayles skiffs I can justify including a snap of the pair,‘Ulla’ beating the prototype – the only occasion when ‘Ulla’  was victorious – close examination of the steerboard might suggest one possible reason.

click on the thumbnail for the bigger picture

Posted by: strathkanchris | June 7, 2010

The HBBR at Beale 2010

Beale 2010 reverted to its normal brilliant weather and saw some notable activity from HBBR stalwarts. Most worthy of note were the Wooldridge junior boatbuilders who stepped into the breach and helped build a paddling cat over the weekend. The Beer tent provided a suitable rendezvous for people to gather, far busier on the Saturday so perhaps numbers weren’t too bad although the lack of trade stands of use to home builders was regrettably noticeable. I went with a wallet full of folding stuff and only managed to restock with Balcotan glue – no epoxy. no glittering bronze to tempt one – pretty disappointing on the whole. On reflection I think the show survives because of its atmosphere – it gets more like a family reunion every year, without all the angst of family reunions. I regret that I was so stunned by the vision of the Harvey’s in matching T shirts that I neglected to grab a quick snap – nice one lads, and very much appreciated.

Posted by: ukhbbr | September 15, 2008

Beginner’s Clunky Ply – Strong Back

Paul Fisher said 3×1 screwed into a T beam would work well, ideally with old dry wood that had finished all its twisting.
I don’t have anything like that so the best I can do is get 3×1 planed which has been stored indoors at the local builders merchant, using the straightest I can find. Any comments?
Having said that it will have to be stored outside on the grass under a poly cover…..unless I build an extension to our 12ft conservatory. Or I might build a rainproof cover along one side of our house and the fence. It would be about 5 feet wide.
Thinking a bit more the strong back might have to be moved. I know that’s not ideal but I can think of ways of realigning it – string through holes in each stage or a laser level.
Umm, yes quite a challenge you have got there. I, personally don’t like the T strongback – I just think there are so many ways that it can twist out of shape. Modern timber is such diabolical quality that I would be very loathe to follow Paul’s recommendation. All my canoes have been built on a ladder type strongback built out of L girders for lightness and great strength and stability. I think the T strongback comes from across the pond where it is universal for the Cedar/ canvas canoe build and I don’t think the need for absolute level is so important – largely because the planks at bow and stern are not finally brought in permanent alignment until the boat is off the moulds so there is scope for fudging.
Once you have got the backbone (hog and stems) securely fixed the ladder frame becomes quite rigid, triangulation I expect. I did put legs on wheels at one end of the frame with the other clamped in one of those £10 workbenches so that I could move the thing around – even with 12′ width in the workshop there were still times when  ……
The advantage of the L girders is that you can use 5×1/2 floorboard stock and join lengths with a butt strap to extend it. the short leg of the L is something like 2×1 screwed and glued inside the top of the side plank. Not sure if I make sense – attached some snaps to hopefully clarify.
L Girder frame upside down showing simple construction.

L Girder frame upside down showing simple construction.

L Girder frame right way up showing cantelievered supports
L Girder frame right way up showing cantelievered supports

Posted by: ukhbbr | September 15, 2008

Beginner’s Clunky Ply – Introduction

 An adventure in Clinker Ply Boatbuilding

Being an attempt to short circuit the learning process by means of Q&A between two UK-HBBR members at opposite ends of the country.  The project is one of Paul Fishers sailing canoes, the Woodland 15 .

Woodland 15 sailing canoe

The two members concerned both have a few boats under their belts, Southernman (S) has built in the more common Stitch and Tape method but has repeatedly been advised that clinker ply, (lapstrake ply in our former colony across the Atlantic) is far easier and less messy by Northernman (N) who has so far built four by this method, his aversion to S&T is based on experience having built two boats by that method in his early days, being a bone idle sort he finds it all too much like hard work.
This document will consist of Questions put by S to N as problems occur. Please feel free to comment (using the box below) if you disagree or have an alternative solution. N certainly would not claim to be knowledgable on the subject, responses will be based on his experiences – good and bad – in building boats at home. Most illustrations will be as thumbnails to help the page load in a reasonable time for those with dial up. Clicking on the image will bring an enlarged version to your screen.
Posted by: portnastorm | June 17, 2008

Your Cheating Heart

Christopher at Beal Park 2008Having sworn my love for the Wolstenholme Coot,  my wandering eye has landed on Oughtred’s Tammie Norrie, is there no end to this torment?

Actually I really wanted to see where an unclassified blog would land on the site!


Posted by: ukhbbr | June 14, 2008

Canoe ‘Fly’ – 1889

I find it fascinating to read about sailing canoes from the late 19th Century. In many ways things have not 16ft long and 30in beam ‘Fly’ could have been built last week or 119 years ago:

Paul Butler\'s Canoe Fly 

Paddle and Sail, February 1889 wrote this about Paul Butler’s Canoe Fly:
“A REAL LITTLE SHIP SHE WAS CALLED at the meet last August. Rigged like a yacht. Planking and deck are of Spanish cedar, smooth skin, well varnished and polished up to the last notch. Fittings are scientifically made, light strong and in exactly the right places. the centerboard trunk, in the middle of the canoe, prevents sleeping in the hold. Otherwise it is an honest cruising canoe, a wonderful sea boat, having excessive freeboard…

A little over 100 feet of sail, perfectly balanced, no ballast. Canoe is very stiff, sails wonderfully close to the wind, maneuvers easily and quickly, weathers a blow and a heavy sea . Uses hoisting sails, each with a single reef worked by gathering lines from the cockpit. The rudder, centerboard and hangings, tiller, deck seat, mast blocks and rings, cleats and running rigging, were specially designed by the owner and worked out under his eye, as the whole boat was, in fact.

The canoe was built up to the limits – sixteen feet long by 30 inches beam.

Lost in 1888 to Eclipse but was ahead of her in heavy air until at the finish the wind died.”


Posted by: portnastorm | June 12, 2008

Amble up the Hamble

The HBBR stalwarts stand in awe of Chris IV as he navigates the storm lashed reaches of the hamble last August.  “right that’s decided then, we drive to the pub” 




Posted by: ukhbbr | November 9, 2007

Canoe Corner

Down in canoe corner Peter Taylor readies his Swallow Boats sandpiper “Ariel” for a quick turn around the bay.
Barry O’Hara, and crew setting off in his Selway Fisher Petit Breeze.
Posted by: ukhbbr | November 5, 2007

And Now a Word from our Sponsor

And here is that intrepid explorer himself, about to brave the elements and set of for foreign shores in Jackson’s Cracker. Alex Jordan, the man, the myth, the legend, who started all of this shows a fine pair of calves, a healthy disdain for the fickle fashion of sailing attire, and can barely contain his excitement at the prospect

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