Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bequia Sailing Schools

Bequia built double ended wooden hulls abound in Bequia. Some are old, steeped in myth legend and tradition

One such boat is the Iron Duke, now newly restored the 130-year-old whaleboat was one of the very first whaleboats on the island, brought from New England by whaling legend "Old Bill" Wallace in the late 19th century. It was on her sleek lines that all future Bequia whaleboats were based, and as such she forms a unique link to Bequia’s whaling and boatbuilding heritage.

However the Iron Duke still having the snot sailed out of her at the weekends by a new and enthusiastic crew of locals.

Other boats have worries attached but have been temporarily donated to the sailing school and are having the snot sailed out of them at the weekends by a new and enthusiastic crew of locals kids.

Some Bequia built double enders are full out racing machines

with high tech sails, carbon fibre poles and dyneema rigging but are still having the snot sailed out of them at the weekends.

One thing is shared by all these sailboats is that the only thing that keeps them upright is the skill of the crew. There is no external ballast, no weighty keel not even sandbags or cobble stones on the inside, just the crew weight applied in the right places. In the past they wedged a plank across the boat called the pry and the heavier crew members were sent out the pry, nowadays the crew wear harnesses and trapeze their way upwind.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like those guys are having great fun. Not sure that Carbon fibre masts etc are quite within the rules of historic sailing. Ah but I hear you say "What Rules" and your probably right as long as everyone is having fun why complicate it.
    Watched the 45ft american cup cats on TV. Must be great fun playing with other peoples money. They pitch poled the new 75ft cat in testing, no one hurt but lots of things broke.

    Have fun.