Building A Boat - Page 12 - The Triumph Of The Snow Pea

boat12_3.jpgWe took a trip to picturesque Lulworth Cove with my little boat - the Snow Pea, complete with sailing rig - and spent a couple of very pleasant and serene hours sailing around the cove.


Carting the boat down the hill from the car park was a bit interesting, as there were a lot of people about.

Whatever happened today - success or (as seemed more usual) failure - there would certainly be a lot of witnesses

As usual, assembly took about 20 minutes, but it's becoming pretty routine now. Lots of people were curious - some curious enough to come and ask questions.

Setting Sail

boat12_2.jpgThen we set off - paddling at first. Unfurling the sail was easy and once we were out of the shallows, I fitted the lee board.

We could have used a little more wind really - it was only peaking at about 10 mph and occasionally dropping to complete calm.

Still, even under this very gentle breeze, the Snow Pea makes headway - so we gently and slowly sailed out toward the mouth of the cove.

boat12_3.jpgThe Snow Pea was dwarfed by all of the large cruisers, yachts and other boats moored in the cove, but we had great fun picking our way amongst them.

The Pea isn't efficiently-rigged enough to sail very close to the wind, but it's still pretty agile - we didn't run into any trouble or lose control even once.

We sailed to the far end of the cove and beached the boat - despite coming ashore onto some big rocks, the hull remained remarkably unscathed.

We had quite a few admiring and encouraging comments from folks aboard the bigger boats in the bay - which I found really quite heartwarming.

boat12_4.jpgWe spent maybe two hours sailing around the cove, in and out between the big boats, out to the mouth and back again.

The sea looked really pretty flat outside the cove and it was tempting to think about taking the Pea out there where we could catch a proper breeze, but I think that would be a bit foolhardy - and could turn into another failure story, but one that I don't come home to write about.


Here's some video footage of the day (it's a bit glitchy in places, as it was shot on very high zoom and I had to digitally de-shake it in the edit).

Sailing The Snow Pea

This was meant to be the last trip out for the Snow Pea, before I disposed of it to make room for another build, however, it turned out to be such a lot of fun, I can't help thinking I might hang on and get a bit more enjoyment out of it, before moving on.

Why Is This A 'Triumph'?

Well, take a look at what's happened on the previous 11 pages (click the 'boat' tag). It's a catalogue of trial, error and misadventure.

A huge amount of work went into building the Snow Pea, and for quite scant reward so far - most of the trips out on the water have been at best hard work, and at worst, disastrous and borderline dangerous.

This one, however, was pure pleasure. An unqualified success.

What Next

Well, that was a lot of fun - all pure joy and no tears this time - maybe I'm going to hang on to the Pea for a while now - if I can find somewhere a bit closer to home to sail it.

Update September 2010

I thought it might be nice to revisit my original goal for this project, which was to take the boat all the way down to the lower end of the Hamble, so on 18th Septmber, we set off from Botley Quay at a little after 9AM, just as the tide began to fall

boat12_5.jpgWe took the sail rig with us, but it was such a calm day, we had little use for it.

We weren't in any kind of hurry, and just paddled gently down to Manor Farm by about 11AM enjoying the beautiful clear day, the calm river scenery and wildlife including kingfishers and egrets.

After a brief snack break tied up to Manor Farm pontoon, we set off again downriver.

Only a little way downstream the river changes character quite abruptly, being given over to enormous marinas where our little boat was again dwarfed by all of the huge yachts and boats moored and sailing there.

This really is not the domain of small, vulnerable boats like the Snow Pea (and I have to say, we were afforded nothing like the warm and courteous reception we previously experienced from the lovely boat owners at Lulworth) - and the further we went, the harder became the conditions. The wakes from some of the larger boats began to pose increasing risks, with the outrigger flexing and creaking quite severely.

boat12_6.jpgSo we were quite relieved when we made it to Hamble-le-Rice at about 12:30 and drew up on the public hard. I don't think there's any way we could have gone all the way to Warsash - it's too big and serious a river even at the point we stopped. Quite interesting, really to look back at the start of this project and realise how unrealistic my initial expectations really were.

boat12_7.jpgFortunately, we didn't have to paddle all the way back to Botley.

Cartopping the Snow Pea is quite easy and I can just about manage it single handed.


Before, during or after the video(s) embedded in this page, the player may display advertisements or links to additional videos - these are not affiliated to Atomic Shrimp and the selection is something over which I have no control.