It is always a delight to visit the Boat Show at Beale Park.
Not only for it’s stunning setting on the River Thames in Berkshire but also for it’s emphasis on Wooden Boats and amateur boat building and restoration.
There is the refreshingly laid-back, informality to the show with none
of the hustle and bustle of some of the larger more commercial shows.
|Beale Park is also the perfect place to show
off the winners of
“Water Craft” magazine’s competition for backyard boatbuilders.
These are boats built by amateurs in their spare time purely for personal
The entries to the competition can be any size or type of boat, as long as it is able to make it by river or road to the Show.
Gail McGarva, a former student of
the Boat Building Academy
in Lyme Regis is seen here discussing the finer points of the ‘Lerret’,
In 2009 Gail won a scholarship from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust to build a ‘Lerret’, a fishing boat native to Lyme Bay.
Lerrets, designed to be launched and
landed from the steep
stony beaches of Lyme Bay and Chesil Beach were used mainly for
The irascible James Wharram and his partner Hanneke Boon brought the part finished 27' "Amatasi" to demonstrate philosophy behind Wharram Catamarans.
On this project they have been trying out the use of Soya based resin and sheathing matting made from bamboo.
Nick Smith (http://www.nicksmithboatbuilder.co.uk/) a professional boat builder specialises in building Classic Carvel and Clinker built boats.
The boats that he builds are craft similar to those he grew up using.
The Beale Park Boat Show was not without its fair share of craft stalls.
Illustrator, author and artist Claudia Myatt is herself a Wooden Boat enthusiast.
"Starfish Books" is Claudia’s outlet for her very individual nautical gifts and designs including cards, prints, gifts, nautical jewellery and her popular sailing books for children.
This is just a small selection of the attractions which were on display on the opening day.