A visit to Waywood in Chadlington
In June Rear Commodore Barnaby Scott welcomed us to his design studio, furniture workshop and showroom in Chadlington, where, in a corner beside his Computer Numerical Control (CNC) routing machine, lies his 30 foot yacht in build.
Barnaby has carefully thought through and defined the kind of boat he needs (insofar as any of us need a boat!), which led him outside the range of production craft. As well as meeting practical requirements he also wanted a vessel of elegance and beauty, and found the design of what he wanted in a Haiku, a 30 foot sharpie from Iain Oughtred’s drawing board. Iain is one of the most respected small wooden boat designers; “sharpies” were developed on the East coast of America in the 1800s and are flat-bottomed, shallow-water craft. They are simple in every respect, including the building, yet remarkably capable. Many consider the acme of the genre to be the ‘Egret’ built by ‘Commodore’ Ralph Munroe in the 1880s. This boat was the inspiration for the Haiku.
A yacht build is a big project. The hull is nigh on complete, and rather unusually (and made possible by full computer modelling) this boat is being built from the inside outwards, rather than infilling a hull. So although still upside down, it already has most of the interior structures, including the centreboard boxes. With lead keel already in place, righting the boat is the next challenge. This process is fully designed, and the turning equipment built. Some of us hope to be invited back to help (unless it is fully automated, in which case we’d like to watch, and raise another glass!). Keep an eye on his blog.
Barnaby had recently given a talk to another club, the Bromsgrove Boaters, and he galloped through the presentation he’d given to them, giving us tantalising glimpses of the Solway where he sails, of historic boats that inspired the design of the boat he is building, of other boats he might have gone for, and of the build itself. Barnaby’s Haiku is named Luely, in honour of the lusted-after lass of a ribald Scottish poem.
Equally fascinating was Barnaby’s furniture gallery Waywood, where we saw, admired, puzzled-over, stroked, and sat on the works of art to which applying the word “furniture” seems slightly insulting. There are sweeping curves, engineering precision, woods and grains coaxed and glued into beautiful pieces.
We were chased out after an hour or so as dinner had been booked at The Tite Inn in Chadlington, our exit slowed by the gathering of admirers around one Club member’s vintage Bentley, which sounds as good as it looks. (The turning circle reminded me of some boats I’ve conned – Ed.)