On 15th Sept and in brilliant sunshine 18 members and partners had a brief course on traditional boat construction and repair - and on high tech up-to-the minute sail design and manufacture.
First we went to Cindy Abbott's sail loft, which was wonderfully roomy, neat and tidy, where she makes new sails and cleans and services old ones for about 2000 customers.
In this photo she explains to Brian Dobinson, who organised the trip, that although mass market cruising sails are largely supplied by foreign makers, with their much lower labour costs, the specialist maker here takes the niche market for high tech racing boats, often adjusting sails from race to race to accommodate particular courses, or the foibles of geeky owners, to get that 0.0001 of a knot!.
This photo shows Cindy demonstrating a high tech dinghy sail.
We progressed to Chambers Wharf and the boatyard of Alan Staley who, at the time of the visit, had 4 craft in his workshop - all made of wood, but of completely different methods of construction, and of ages varying from 50 to over 100 years.
The photo above shows him explaining to Roger Power, Vic Banks and Nan Miller (and assorted backs!) the hot moulding technique pioneered by Fairey marine just before the general introduction of fibreglass.
In the photo above he explains his methods of working - he employs 8 including 2 apprentices.
Above, many hands assist in moving out of the workshop and onto hardstanding a wooden boat that foundered almost instantly on hitting an underwater obstruction - it was raised and has been repaired.
And so to the pub for sustenance after a heavy morning!