Peter Cum­ber­lidge: “Dur­ing the glo­ri­ous sum­mer of 2018, calm seas and long balmy days were ideal for pad­dle­board­ing, which is fast be­com­ing the sim­plest, most eco­nom­i­cal way to go cruis­ing”

Motorboat & Yachting - - THE 10 -

Cock­wells has an­nounced a new flag­ship to its Duchy range of tra­di­tion­ally styled mo­tor launches. The Corn­wall-based com­pany launched a 35 at the Southamp­ton Boat Show last year to aug­ment the Duchy 21 and 27 al­ready in pro­duc­tion. At this year’s show the com­pany took the wraps off de­signs for a 45ft ver­sion, an­nounc­ing that the first two boats are al­ready sold and in build.

The semi-cus­tom 45 fol­lows the tra­di­tional styling of the 35 on the out­side and serves up ei­ther a two-cabin gal­ley down or three cabin gal­ley up lay­out on the in­side. The hull de­sign is by An­drew Wol­sten­holme and is pow­ered by twin Volvo Penta IPS600 pod drive en­gines for an es­ti­mated top speed of 32 knots, al­though shaft drive en­gines will also be avail­able. Key op­tions in­clude a fly­bridge, gyro sta­bil­i­sa­tion, a wet room and fully in­te­grated con­trol sys­tem for the helm. Prices start in the re­gion of £800,000 plus VAT.

We en­joyed a glo­ri­ous sum­mer here in Devon. Start Bay was calm for weeks, with ca­noeists out­num­ber­ing mo­tor boats and yachts on some oc­ca­sions. There were also plenty of pad­dle­board­ers, not just splash­ing about in the shal­lows but pur­pose­fully track­ing close in­shore be­tween Dart­mouth and Start Point. This fab­u­lous coast has beau­ti­ful coves and beaches for board­ers to stop at, with great cafés and pubs to hand.

When I think about it, there seem to be pad­dle­board­ers every­where. Jane’s sports physio re­cently pad­dled from Scilly to Land’s End – 27 miles on the chart but much fur­ther if the tide turns foul. One of our neph­ews lives in Aus­tralia, north of Syd­ney, and he pad­dles to work from his pri­vate jetty.

Ear­lier this sea­son we stayed a while in Per­ros-guirec, an at­trac­tive Brit­tany ma­rina due south of Dart­mouth. Per­ros is a rest­ful, so­cia­ble place, a nat­u­ral har­bour for lin­ger­ing, so we al­ways do. On our sec­ond day I strolled out to the break­wa­ter be­fore lunch and gazed across the shal­low dry­ing bay, where acres of sand were un­cov­er­ing.

Be­fore the wa­ter van­ished al­to­gether, a pad­dle­boarder ar­rived at the pier. He was a lean-look­ing French­man with a slightly schol­arly air, rather like a his­tory mas­ter. He wore a wet­suit and a wa­ter­proof back­pack which, I learnt, con­tained a change of clothes, tooth­brush and a credit card for emer­gen­cies. This game trav­eller had come down from Tréguier, in­side all the coastal reefs. From the lower Tréguier River, a lo­cal short cut leads out to the north and a pad­dle­board can then fol­low the main­land through a se­cret cor­ri­dor of tidal sounds and shel­tered la­goons. To those in the know, this route con­tin­ues all the way to Per­ros, so my man had a com­pletely smooth trip in fab­u­lous sur­round­ings. Next day he’d be press­ing on for Trébeur­den through more in­ner channels.

In the morn­ing we were sip­ping cof­fee when I saw the his­tory mas­ter launch his board and glide off to sea again. By the time we were un­der way, I couldn’t spot him as we passed the gleam­ing Per­ros beaches and headed west in­side Les Sept Îles.

We kept well out­side the off­shore rocks and is­lands on the way round to Trébeur­den, an­chor­ing off Île Molène for lunch. Later, from the ma­rina, I saw the his­tory mas­ter step calmly ashore at the slip­way, park his board and wan­der into town, pre­sum­ably for some comfy ho­tel. Which all goes to show that you don’t need to buy a large, ex­pen­sive boat to go cruis­ing in an ex­tremely civilised fash­ion!

ABOVE The 45 is a new ad­di­tion to the range of Duchy mo­tor launches. RIGHT The big­gest out­board yet from Seven Marine

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