Saturday, 14 February 2015

A Cornish gig...from Whitby?

An interesting new take on the Cornish pilot gig is under construction the the Lake District by Fyne Boat Kits.
The boat was commissioned by the Whitby Friendship Amateur Rowing Club, which explains the confusing name - Cornish Whitby Gig.
The new boat was designed by John Harris and Jay Hockenberry of Fyne's American associates Chesapeake Light Craft, using their LapStitch system to lock the planks together for a light, strong construction.
The shape is exactly the same as a Cornish pilot gig and she uses thole pins, but the seating is novel. Each rower sits on a fore-and-aft plank with the feet in fixed stretchers so they adjust their bums rather than their feet. John Harris has used this principle before in his Team Dory but I have never got a chance to try it. It looks as if it might give a better swing on the oar - I wonder how it works in practice?
It is a bit obscure why Friendship want such a boat. They have their own lovely, traditionally built four-oared gigs which are very fast as demonstrated in the Great River Race every year. They won't be able to enter official Cornish gig regattas in it as it doesn't comply with CGRA rules. And I doubt if it will be much cheaper than a grp gig.
It will sure look nice, though.


2 comments:

Matt Petherbridge said...

Perhaps it should be a "Whitby Cornish Gig" rather than the other way around ?
The seating solution does look interesting, but from experience there is an obvious problem in that it doesn't allow the rower to alter his position in or out as the usual thwart seat does. This is highly desirable depending on prevailing sea conditions, and also from the point of view of balancing the boat when you're rowing with a crew of markedly differing weights. Incidentally, when racing it's sometimes desire able to "lean" the boat inwards when rounding a buoy as it helps to make the turn more quickly.
Simpler is usually better.

Matt Petherbridge said...

Perhaps it should be a "Whitby Cornish Gig" rather than the other way around ?
The seating solution does look interesting, but from experience there is an obvious problem in that it doesn't allow the rower to alter his position in or out as the usual thwart seat does. This is highly desirable depending on prevailing sea conditions, and also from the point of view of balancing the boat when you're rowing with a crew of markedly differing weights. Incidentally, when racing it's sometimes desire able to "lean" the boat inwards when rounding a buoy as it helps to make the turn more quickly.
Simpler is usually better.