Bo­at show of clas­si­cs and me­mo­ries

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Out & About -

The An­ti­que & Clas­sic Bo­at Show t­his wee­kend will dis­play mo­re than 20 beau­ti­ful bo­ats in T­he­sen Har­bour Town.

A 1948 Chris Craft, o­ri­gi­nal in e­very re­spect and un­re­sto­red, will un­doub­ted­ly be a star t­his y­e­ar’s show on Sa­tur­day 7 Oc­to­ber. Just to view such a bo­at and tick off all the de­tail from Pin­te­rest pho­to­grap­hs is an ab­so­lu­te ple­a­su­re.

Ho­we­ver, it is di­sap­poin­ting to no­te that three wooden bo­ats will not ma­ke an ap­pea­ran­ce t­his y­e­ar be­cau­se they we­re con­su­med by fi­re on the nig­ht of 7 Ju­ne. Two y­achts o­w­ned by Jock M­cCon­na­chie of Tim­ber Vil­la­ge pe­ris­hed in the first few hours of the bla­ze as it swept do­wn the val­ley, ta­king the Tim­ber Vil­la­ge and all in its way. The two y­achts, a Gra­du­a­te and So­lent S­cow both stee­ped in his­to­ry, will ne­ver be seen a­gain. So­me of you may re­call the­se bo­ats from pre­vi­ous shows.

Ac­cor­ding to M­cCon­na­chie the show al­so fe­a­tu­res a me­mo­ry wall to ackno­w­led­ge so­me of the­se bo­ats des­ti­ned for dis­play but which we­re lost in fi­res.

“Sad to say, I lost both my soul­ma­te sai­l­bo­at C­le­men­cy, a 1954 So­lent S­cow; and my de­ar old Moon­flo­wer, a 1964 ho­me-built Gra­du­a­te, in the de­va­sta­ting fi­re,” said M­cCon­na­chie.

Rich his­to­ry

“C­le­men­cy was built at Burn­ham-on-Crouch, Eng­land. She was pur­cha­sed by Pip­pa Jar­man in 2012 and beau­ti­ful­ly re­sto­red in the UK be­fo­re being ship­ped to the Knys­na Yacht Club. “Moon­flo­wer was built by the in­do­mi­ta­ble To­ny Ren­dell, now well in­to his 80s and still sai­ling at Groen­vlei, Sed­ge­field.

Ren­dell sold her to M­cCon­na­chie three y­e­ars ago for the prin­ce­ly sum of R100, sin­ce he knew that she would be ta­ken good ca­re of. Ren­dell had fixed a brass pla­que to her deck which re­ad, “If God had in­ten­ded man to build fi­breglass bo­ats, He would ha­ve cre­a­ted fi­breglass trees,” said M­cCon­na­chie.

A­not­her beau­ti­ful wooden speed­bo­at, per­fect­ly re­sto­red by S­te­ven Hop­per in his ga­ra­ge o­ver four y­e­ars, was to be sho­wn for the first ti­me t­his y­e­ar. The o­w­ner, a con­sis­tent and ge­ne­rous spon­sor of the bo­at show, was par­ti­cu­lar­ly proud of t­his ru­na­bout; the har­dwa­re had been sour­ced from the UK and a spec­ta­cu­lar wooden s­teer­ing w­heel had co­me from I­ta­ly. The bo­at it­self look­ed brand new as Hop­per, a UK-trai­ned and qua­li­fied bo­at buil­der paid me­ti­cu­lous at­ten­ti­on to e­very de­tail. The bo­at was laun­ched in the midd­le of the y­e­ar and pro­ba­bly had less than fi­ve hours on its Mer­cu­ry en­gi­ne w­hen it was re­du­ced to as­hes in a Bel­vi­de­re ga­ra­ge.

Fra­gi­le ves­sels

T­his rein­for­ces how fra­gi­le the­se bo­ats re­al­ly are. Being of or­ga­nic sub­stan­ce, wooden bo­ats are tem­po­ra­ry by na­tu­re. F­reshwa­ter is mo­re harm­ful e­ven than sus­tai­ned sun­lig­ht, but ti­me is the re­al ca­ta­lyst. To last, the­se bo­ats need ca­re and at­ten­ti­on – not the back-bre­a­king work ma­ny per­cei­ve to be ne­ces­sa­ry, nor at vast ex­pen­se. A vin­ta­ge wooden bo­at is ac­tu­al­ly one of the che­a­pest ways to get on­to the wa­ter in sty­le. If you don’t ha­ve the ti­me or de­ter­mi­na­ti­on to re­sto­re a bo­at your­self, then you can’t go far wrong buying a ful­ly re­sto­red bo­at and le­ar­ning, as you en­joy your mu­tu­al, tem­po­ra­ry ex­is­ten­ce to­get­her.

A­not­her high­lig­ht will be the con­tri­bu­ti­on of mas­ter crafts­man De­on Ser­fon­tein who is brin­ging four of his canoes to the bo­at show, the lon­ge­st of which is 16 foot. His ra­ti­o­na­le for tur­ning to canoes, he said, is ba­sed on an ex­pe­rien­ce w­hen he was fis­hing on the Knys­na la­goon, with pe­op­le all a­round playing, ski­ing and just ha­ving fun, w­hen all of a sud­den a wooden mo­tor­bo­at ca­me past and e­ver­yo­ne just stop­ped w­hat they we­re doing to wa­tch it. He said he de­ci­ded then and the­re to one day build a Ri­va, a fa­mous I­ta­li­an wooden mo­tor­bo­at. – S­taff re­por­ter

P­ho­to: Sup­p­lied

Sad­ly, on­ly pic­tu­res and me­mo­ries re­main of t­his bo­at, which would ha­ve been on dis­play at the Bo­at Show t­his y­e­ar, but was lost in the fi­res.

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