A real rowing boat.

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Michael Brigg
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A real rowing boat.

Post by Michael Brigg » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:07 pm

Not sailing but dear to my heart.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Woode ... 43c2647f76

This is the kind of boat I learned my rowing in over 40 years ago. The boats were antiques even then. It is the exact type of boat that Toad would have been rowing when first seen in Wind in the willows...
Image067.jpg
In spite of hanging in the kitchen rafters this looks easily restorable, although it would be a little fragile. Would be great for nostalgic paddles at events like Henley and other river based regattas. Sadly becoming somewhat rare unless you go to the Summer Skiff regattas like Shiplake & Wargrave, or Surbiton etc.

Sadly a bit pricey for me today. I thing it reasonable value for a piece of rowing history and lament the suggestion that it should be a restaurant decoration.
Michael Brigg

Mikey
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Re: A real rowing boat.

Post by Mikey » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:59 am

If I remember correctly these were called a Wiff. Like Michael I rowed in one of these at school in Kingston before moving on to a "shell" although we did have sliding seats. The boat would originally have had "fixed pins" at the end of the riggers and "swivel gates" have been fitted retro-spectively. The Copper riveted repairs are called "tingles".

Mike Liggett.

Mikey
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Re: A real rowing boat.

Post by Mikey » Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:02 am

Must order some specs. for Christmas! On closer examination the original "fixed pins" are clearly in place.

Mike.

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Ed
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Re: A real rowing boat.

Post by Ed » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:44 pm

Or if you prefer a shell, then this is also available:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200993170451? ... 1436.l2649

Again, it looks like a pretty easy re-build.

I also have my whiff, which I could be tempted to sell on if anyone is interested:

https://plus.google.com/photos/11373149 ... oDEi-_0uQE as I should most probably thin collection a bit at moment.

Would be a bit cheaper! :-)

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
MR 638 - Please come and take it away
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

Michael Brigg
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:11 pm
Location: Gosport, UK

Re: A real rowing boat.

Post by Michael Brigg » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:11 pm

Unbelievable price on the ebay Shell!! :shock:

No Sackboards, no canvas, no oars even! Very tatty condition and no history. Major repairs not very well done, presumably from a foot through the floor or a grounding.

In a private garage so I presume someone has run out of enthusiasm for the project though the suggestion of "Olympic and Henley style rowing" seems rather hopeful.

It is difficult to determine if the stern shaping suggests it could be a wooden Stamfli, which would be about the only thing that would tempt me. No evidence of a "silk finish" under the varnish though so I think it more likely the stern styling is just a fake.

With regard to the older boat I posted and Ed's Bathurst, I wouln't have called these "whiffs" as both boats are a little too fine or narrow for this definition and are not canvased either. The "Whiffs" we had at school were fibreglass immitation clinker with sliding seats, and had a prominent keel, rather more than these. But I suppose they might be Whiffs. I saw an article on these described as "Committee racing shells." They would be used at regatta's where the individual scullers would row in the boat provided by the regatta.

Ed if you're serious about selling I might be interested at some point. Tempt me!! :twisted:
Michael Brigg

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Ed
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Re: A real rowing boat.

Post by Ed » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:07 am

Just bringing this thread to the fore again....knowing that it isn't of much interest to most of you guys....

but there is another old scull for sale.

this time a Sims.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... SS:GB:3160

When I was at school we had a selection of Phelps and Sims boats. I have a Phelps identical to those we had, and now here is this Sims that is identical to those boats.

No idea how much this will go for, but it is a wonderful opportunity to get hold of a classic sculling boat. This age of boat is less weight-sensitive than later boats and would make a fantastic boat for fun and training.

If anyone is interested, we do have the knowledge on the forum to help you get this back on the water.

Am I interested.....well yes, but I won't be bidding....I don't think....

I am still waiting for a nice double....just like this....to come up

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
MR 638 - Please come and take it away
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

Mikey
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:27 pm
Location: Earith, Cambs. United Kingdom

Re: A real rowing boat.

Post by Mikey » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:08 pm

I am a member of Bedford RC (ex. Elite squad)-- unfortunately this scull has been not well looked after. Had it been properly stored in boathouse it would have remained in good condition. The riggers pattern indicate they are not contempory with the scull and seem to be missing the gates swivels. George Sims made good boats (his brother also built in Nottingham). It is important to remember all boats (from VIII to scull) are made to crew weight although if the boat is not to be used for serious sculling probably OK.
Back on an earlier topic on this thread I also seem to remember the Wiff type sculls being called "rum tum".

Mike Liggett

Michael Brigg
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Re: A real rowing boat.

Post by Michael Brigg » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:19 pm

Mikey wrote:I am a member of Bedford RC (ex. Elite squad)-- unfortunately this scull has been not well looked after. Had it been properly stored in boathouse it would have remained in good condition. The riggers pattern indicate they are not contempory with the scull and seem to be missing the gates swivels. George Sims made good boats (his brother also built in Nottingham). It is important to remember all boats (from VIII to scull) are made to crew weight although if the boat is not to be used for serious sculling probably OK.
Back on an earlier topic on this thread I also seem to remember the Wiff type sculls being called "rum tum".

Mike Liggett
I had just posted on this Scull and then managed to lose the document :evil: But I must say I had much the same feeling about it. At least one half of the hull appears to have been stripped then left to oxidize. It would need extensive rubbing down or "shaving" to restore to new wood suitable to varnish, and there seems little pint in doing a paint job on it. As a boat it would not be competitive to race, and in that case you would be looking for something with a bit of classic provenance.

The sax board is in poor condition and needs replacement.

Would originally have had Double action Brass wheels running on a brass track. Hard to find. The "Ausie rail slide is less likely to jam if you are a novice however and again, it is easily retro fitted or replaced without damage to the structure.

The canvas needs replacement and this is difficult to do as authentic material is difficult to find. I have discovered a woven semi transparent boat cover cloth that is suitable, but have yet to try out.

Wooden sculls these days are cheap as they are outclassed by Concept Carbon shafts and hardly anyone really races with Mahon blades that would be in keeping with this age of boat. Mahons are also much easier to use as they have a heavier angular momentum making them easier to balance and they are more forgiving of technique and pitch setting.

As noted the riggers are not original, but this is not such a problem as tht doesn't spoil the performance, however they do need new gates which on this stylre of rigger would need a Carl Douglas "Axior" pin. Rather expensive!

But overall many hours of work and at least £100-200 investment needed to make it a rowable boat. I think it would be worth it if you have a lot of time and know how. The next problem is storage. A rack will cost a fair amount and if you don't have access to an indoor one, a suitable boat bag will set you back another couple of hundred or more. For that money you can find a much better condition boat elsewhere. Sadly this boat is only worth it if going for free in the current market.

And finally "Rum Tums." The expression I think was coined for coxed Clinker Pairs built to a rather beamy design, for training novices used certainly at Oundle School, and possibly elsewhere including I think Bedford. Most rowers know of them a "Tub pairs."
Michael Brigg

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Ed
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Re: A real rowing boat.

Post by Ed » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:38 pm

I take on board what you both say, but I wouldn't put this boat past being worth restoration, by any means. Or put it another way....would you see it burned? or cut up?

For sure it will need new sax boards....and canvases and yes, the shell will need scraping, but I would most probably do that anyway. When I got my Phelps it still mostly had varnish on it, but it all needed scrapping down due to fading, whether it was under the varnish or not. Yes, the riggers are more modern....as are the runners, but these just make the boat more usable and don't really detract from the boats beauty. My 1965 Firefly has a modern ali mast, ali plate and dagger rudder, but I don't feel guilty about it.

And yes......of course at the end of this you will have a boat that isn't in any way competitive.....But this is the CVRDA. I didn't buy my Phelps (or any of my other boats) to be competitive, but for the fun of gently enjoying it for what it is.

And, yes, I am aware that all rowing boats are built for a specific weight.....and for that matter that most sculls of this age tended to be aimed at lower weight crews than are common today (outside schools of course), but still..... Earlier sculls seem to me to be much better weight carriers than more modern boats. My Phelps works fine for me (at 95Kg) and with its elongated teardrop shape, with the maximum gerth in front of the oarsman, fits my slow 'hit and glide' style well. You are right., this sims might be a 'light' boat, but this can be worked out. I think I have an algorithm given to me by Darryl J. Strickler (who wrote 'Classic Sculling') that can estimate the boats' weight carrying capabilities from 3 girth measurements.

As far as replacing the canvases goes. this Sims is the same age as my phelps and would of had a proper stretched light canvas, rather than one of the semi-transparent plastic clothes, used in later boats and popular with the european builders. I researched this tons when re-building the phelps, including buying and trying out a range of potential clothes. None really worked....and again Strickler came to the rescue and told me about 'Ceconite': an american cloth used to cover small aircraft. I thought it would be impossible to get in the UK, but was thrilled to find it was not only available within 20 miles from me, but also that it was not at all expensive. See: http://www.lasaero.com/site/products/ar ... =L00BD0R7X

Don't know much about RumTums......

I always thought of it just as a rather derogatory term for a heavier training boat.....but the list of boats at: http://www.jim-shead.com/waterways/boats.php?wpage=BC5 would support your idea that it was another name for a whiff.

Always good to see that it also mentions the Randan, which is a popular boat down here on the rivers of cornwall, although ours are just a rowing configuration within the 15ft skiffs. But then we also have 'flashboats': light weight tortured ply 4s.

@mikey: good to know we have another oarsman in the CVRDA, when were you in the Bedford Elite squad. Rowed there a few times, but mainly in schools events. With 3 scullers....and 3 viable sculls....a cvrda sculling event seems a step closer :-)

You can see some footage of me sculling the phelps, well mainly pissing around with friends here: http://youtu.be/GFP2lUJtfWE

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
MR 638 - Please come and take it away
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

Mikey
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:27 pm
Location: Earith, Cambs. United Kingdom

Re: A real rowing boat.

Post by Mikey » Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:04 am

Hi Ed,
Started rowing at school (Tiffin) then Kingston RC and finally Bedford. Was in Elite squad in 60's & 70's mainly Thames Cup VIII and Wyfold IV's. Then went on to row in Veteran events taking part in National & World Championships. Finally arthritis caught up with me and I now just officiate at HoR and regattas.

Mike Liggett.

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