Blog - Tales From The River & Workshop

Easter On the Broads a Deer and two Otters Day 3

Hello Folks After a lovely meal Saturday evening from our hosts Sheila and Simon at Barton Turf Adventure Centre followed by a few ales I was unsure if I would wake early enough for an early morning paddle but luckily I awoke feeling surprisingly fresh and ready to go at 6.30 am. I quietly made my way to the put in where I saw just a goose and a duck watching the water. As before I decided to go to Neatishead and back and as it was later than last time I wasn't hopeful of seeing anything of note but proceeded quietly all the way there. I didn't take pictures and it was cold as the wind had got up slightly and it was coming from the other direction to the previous days. I was on my return jou

Easter on The Broads a Deer and two Otters Day 2

On the Saturday I decided to get up early and go for a pre-breakfast paddle to see if could see another otter. I had seen one last year so was hopeful of doing it again. I got down to the landing stage as the sun was beginning to rise. The water was reasonably flat and I could see geese ahead. As I made my way out onto the Broad I could hear them too. Then as I got nearer too them they took off erupting in a cacophony. Fat chance of seeing anything now I thought! I paddled closer to the banks and kept eyes and ears open. I think I may have heard otter calls but didn't see them. Reaching Neatishead I found the light was very photogenic. I returned to the broad as I was feeling hungry. I paddl

My First Stitch and Glue Canoe (trimmings and rounding edges)

Hello Folks Once the gunwales are glued the next task is to round their edges and put some trims on the decks. The trims were made from some Sapele off cuts I had from another job and were glued in place before finally shaping their edges and chiselling the ends to suit the bow and stern. Then the edges were routed on both the trims and the gunwales. The underside of the gunwale at the bow and stern is too close to rout so it is rounded with a block plane. I also rounded the last two inches where the gunwale runs up to the trim by hand and gave them all a good sanding. The edges of the seat frames were also rounded with the router and sanded. Once all sanding was complete I tidied up in prep

Easter on The Broads a Deer and two Otters Day 1

Hello Folks This Easter I met with my OCA friends for a weekend on the magical waters of the Norfolk Broads. I arrived on Friday afternoon and once tents were up and gear sorted some of us decided to go for a paddle to Neatishead and back. We were based at Barton Turf Adventure Centre which is a great venue as there is good access to the water a nearby nature reserve and the wonderful hospitality of our hosts Simon and Sheila. My good friend Nick Dennis had organised the Event and with a whole bank holiday at our disposal we were sure of a good time. Whilst people were getting boats into the water I took a few pictures of Al with Ruby in his latest acquisition which is a UFO (unidentified fl

Further up the Nene with an overnight stop at Fotheringhay Castle. Day 2

Hello Folks I awoke in the morning around 8.30 having slept well and peered out of my tent noting the flat calm of the river in front of me. Knowing I had plenty of time I decided to paddle up river to Perio lock though I wouldn't bother portaging it as it is quite a tricky one to negotiate and I knew I would be doing plenty of lifting on my return journey. I opted to have a leisurely breakfast (it may look like butternut squash soup but its my home mixed muesli in the container.) I packed up my tent and loaded my gear on board before setting off up river and passing the church. A little further up whilst passing these moored boats I was overtaken by a cruiser. There was no wind and the wate

Further up The Nene with an Overnight Camp at Fotheringhay Castle. Day 1.

Hello Folks Knowing the weather was going to be good this weekend I decided a long paddle with an overnight stop was overdue and headed up river from the workshop in Stibbington. Peterborough 1 was heavily loaded as I had my tent, sleeping bag sandwiches and drink for two days as well as breakfast and my stove to heat water when my flask runs out. One always starts with the feeling of wanting to take as little as possible and then you think what if I fall in, better have a change of clothes and the next thought is what if its cold at night or early morning, so I'll take some more clothes and then how about a snack to munch on when I am camping and what about if I want to make a video better

My First Stitch and glue Canoe another fill coat..

My First Stitch and Glue Canoe another fill coat.. Hello Folks The next day I had some tidying up of the glass reinforcement on the bow and stern to do and as I was going to give that area another coat of resin I decided an extra fill coat would do no harm. I began by sanding the reinforcements to feather their edges into the rest. No need to go too hard at it here and with the resin still slightly green power sanding doesn't help as the paper just clogs so this is done by hand with a block. Then I proceeded a long the rest of the hull sanding the surface in preparation for just one more fill coat. Here you can see the right hand side has been sanded and the left is still to do. Then I hoove

Three Men in Wooden Canoes

Today's paddle had a purpose. Nick ,Sam and I were to test Sam's Newly refurbished 1920's Canoe. Sam has put quite a lot of work into getting her from a wreck to her current condition and you can read his blog here. Nick had brought his Peterborough rib canoe circa 1900 and I had Peterborough 1 a mere baby at just six years old. We were launching onto The Great Ouse in St Ives where there is easy access near the church. Pic 1 The thing about old wooden canoes as opposed to my epoxy covered ones is that the only thing they rely on to be watertight is the varnish and closeness of all the timber

Felix's Canoe Refitting Decks

Hello Folks It has been some time since I last posted a blog abot Felix's Canoe. I have been repeating the process in my last blog de nibbing and varnishing and building up the coating in the hope she will be watertight. She has now had nine coats and I feel it is time to refit the decks and fittings. The original screws are still in good enough condition to be used so I feel no need to replace them. Although I have coated the decks with wood hardener, boat soup and lots of varnish they are still a little soft and delicate. Also there is no guarantee that the screws will grip in their holes so some require a wood peg glued into the hole to make them grip. I found this was more the case with

My First Stitch and Glue Canoe (Glassing the outside)

Hello Folks Although this chapter is called glassing the outside I began by sanding the inside of the hull. The reason I didn't rush to do this stage is simple. The resin has to have time to set properly before you sand it. Generally this takes about a week but it is dependent on temperature and the make of resin you are using.If you sand too early your sandpaper will clog with resin and can even tear resin from the surface.I began gently with my orbital sander on the flat areas and then finished off the corners and awkward to reach areas by hand. With the inside of the hull sanded I hoovered off the dust and turned the hull over.The bottom is glassed in two halves so I decided to make it ea

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