14 Men In a Shed On TV. And John Hanson’s Newest Favorist Webblog

Well, there were some instructors as well.  “14 NEW Men In a Shed”?

This was the Lough Ree Boatbuilding Project in Ireland.  AND it was filmed and shown on the Nationwide program on some Irish channel last Friday.

I was alerted to this by my avid reading of Ireland’s Afloat magazine online:


From that website:

“The ‘Mens Shed’ scheme for the Lanesborough-Ballyleague area – as part of a job activation and family support initiative.. – brought together 14 men to learn the craft of boatbuilding.

And the results are more than impressive, with the team building four new boats in just 25 days – a ‘huge success’ in the words of Ballyleague-Lanesborough Area Mens Shed chairman Joe Cribbin

He hailed the scheme as preserving traditional arts and crafts for a new generation.”

Here’s the link to the program:


Suffer through the requisite ads at the beginning, then go ahead to about the 16-minute mark.


John’s latest and most favorite of the week:


Among other accomplishments, our blogger builds the International 12-foot Dinghy.

Intl 12 Foot Dinghy

Read ‘em and weep.

What do you think?

Thanks, Carl

Oh my god…  I just looked and noticed that I’ve been writing this column since March 2009.  It almost seems like yesterday….




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The Girl From Botany Bay. Oh, Wait. Well, a New 5.5

Many years ago, I was reading The Fatal Shore, just a fabulous book by Robert Hughes.  If you’re unaware of it, the book is mostly concerned with the settling of British convicts in Australia.

Fatal Shore


On page 205 [paperback edition], begins the story of Mary Bryant, “the girl from Botany Bay.”  She was one of the convict-members of the First Fleet — the first group of convicts shipped to Australia.

Her story is a fascinating one.  Here, I will only recount that she, her husband and two young kids, and seven other convicts, stole a small boat, and escaped to Timor, a sea voyage of 3,250 miles — virtually the same distance and the same destination as Cap’n Bligh had accomplished mere months earlier.

Here, I thought, is a great story.  If I were a professional biographer (in truth, I am neither), this provides so much meat.  In the old pre-web days, perhaps I would have embarked upon it.

But a quick glance at Wikipedia shows that there are many books, and a movie — with typical liberties taken to render it more fiction than non-fiction — that my great efforts would have been for nought.

I haven’t read all or any of the previously written books.  What was Mary’s actual role in the small boat escape?  Or was it the fact that she was female that lead to all the subsequent adoration?

Surely one of our loyal readers knows more than I do.  Would you please share?


Our webmaster won’t let me post this blog without an adequate boat or boating illustration.  This was posted today on SailingAnarchy.com without identification other than:

“Take a look at this Danish designed New Nordic 5.5. It will at the Worlds in Denmark 2016. Regards from Jørgen the Denmark boat builder.”



What do you think?

Thanks, Carl

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