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Reading Offshore

Sailing Club

Newsletter February   2017
Colin Henwood “Traditional Boatbuilding on the Thames”  9thJanuary 2017
Our guest speaker, Colin Henwood, started the 2017 season with an excellent and very interesting presentation on traditional wooden boatbuilding on the Thames.  Since ROSC holds its monthly meetings at the Upper Thames Motor Yacht Club clubhouse, we were very pleased to see several UTMYC visitors present at the meeting.  No doubt they have seen some of Colin’s boats on the Thames (where indeed their own motor boats are moored) and would be interested in finding out more about these beautifully made crafts.
Colin first became interested in boats as a boy during summer holidays taken in Falmouth.  After leaving university he went to work on the south coast building racing yachts. He eventually started work at Freebody’s boatyard in 1978 at Hurley on the River Thames.  This opportunity gave him his first insight into the very best of traditional wooden boatbuilding. 
In 1981 Colin left to set up his own business in disused farm buildings at Greenlands Farm, Hambleden. Over the past 34 years many historic, beautiful and extraordinary boats have undergone restoration and maintenance at the yard of Henwood and Dean Boatbuilders. (He has now sold the business to his partners but continues to be active in wooden boat building in the Thames area and the South Coast.) His passion and knowledge of his craft make him a sought after speaker. Proceeds from his recently published book, “Head, heart, hand – a boatbuilder’s story’, helps to support young people interested in working with their hands as well as runs short courses at the Boatbuilding Academy in Lyme Regis.
Today Colin is recognized and respected both nationally and internationally for his work.  His boats have won many prestigious awards and in 2015 he was presented with the first Heritage Craft Association ‘Maker of the Year’ award. 
Arrangements to buy this beautifully illustrated book is possible by contacting Colin
(or his wife Lucie) at:
Report by Linda scottorn
Forthcoming events
February 6th   -  Sailing in Galicia NW Spain
 By our very own John & Linda Scottorn

ROSC members, John and Linda, have spent the last two seasons sailing their yacht, Ambler, in the rias of NW Spain.  In this presentation with mostly videos and some photos they will cover the following topics:

(A presentation aided by video and photographs.)
a)  A brief outline of planning our cruising intentions and preparing for 2015
b)  Problems just before we cast off - Portsmouth
c)  Biscay - Salcombe to Baiona ( Galicia - NW Spain)
d)  Galicia  -  what can it offer to the cruising sailor

-    Its geography, coastline, climate, sailing conditions.
 -   places of interest, entertainment. 
 -   beaches, anchorages, marinas.
 -   brief political history
What sailors should know about weather forecasts
by Bill Taylor Monday, 6 March 2017
Bill Taylor is making a welcome return to ROSC.  He spent his career at the Met Office, spending about 35 of his 40+ years there as a weather forecaster.  More recently he started sailing and is now an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore, skippering cruises and races.
Bill will talk around the subject of “What sailors should know about weather forecasts’ and will be explaining why they sometimes go wrong.
Not a talk to be missed as we move forward into the 2017 sailing season!
A visit to the National Maritime Museum Greenwich
Saturday, March 11
As something of a departure for our first ‘rally’ of the season – and following ROSC’s earlier visits to Cutty Sark, the Observatory and NMM exhibitions - this will be an opportunity to wander around the many galleries of the world’s largest maritime museum.  So much to see – and free!
Detailed arrangements for the day will be made once we know numbers of people attending. Here are a few thoughts:
  • Meet before lunch to visit the Chapel and Painted Hall of the Royal Naval College ( )
  • A short light lunch!
  • Visit the many and varied galleries of the National Maritime Museum ( )
  • Round off the day with an evening meal in Central London – probably Chinatown
Greenwich most easily accessed from the Thames Valley by rail.  Allow 45-60 minutes from Paddington to Greenwich by underground/DLR
Please let the organiser know if you would like to come along, ideally by the end of February.
Organiser:  Margaret Haines
Email:  T: 07881 620420
We have a Prizewinner amongs us
John Haines has won first prize in the Haven Ports Yacht Club photographic competition.

John won with his photo ‘Bavaria Sandwich’.  This was taken at the start of the Pin Mill Smack Race on the River Orwell.  The smacks were jostling for position on the start line – when a Bavaria coming down the river decided to come on through! No collision – and a brilliant race followed!
John was presented with his trophy at the Yacht Club’s annual dinner on 21 January.
Photos below and a larger image is shown further down.
The winning photograph  –   A Bavaria Sandwich       
John being presented with his award on 21 January

Reeds Nautical Almanac 2017
This is always an expensive bit of kit for sailors to buy each year but we find it invaluable!  The best price we have found this is year is through Abe Books ( where we have recently purchased a copy for £29.68 plus £2.80 p & p.  And if you use Abe Books regularly you might you have an e-voucher for £10 to knock off that price...
Margaret and John Haines

Anyone wanting to do the Marine Radio course?
John, Csilla and I are planning on doing the YHA Marine Radio (SRC) course ( sometime between now and May, but we need 2 more people to reach the course minimum threshold. We plan to do the course on a mutually convenient Saturday with Reading Sea School, somewhere in the Reading area. It will take all day (in fact, quite a full day), culminating in the exam. It will require some pre-reading. The cost of the course plus exam is around £100 per person.
Is anyone up for it, or do you know anyone who is? As you’ll be aware, it is a legal requirement to have the certificate if operating a radio without supervision. If interested, please let me know.
     Bill  (email
News to amuse

Is this the ultimate portable reference to all the knots you will ever need to know? Available on the Web for free or you can download the app on a mobile device for just over £4. Over 300 different knots and variations classified for your convenience under the fields below or you can find them by name. Each knot has written notes on its uses and history as well as a series of photos showing how the knot is constructed. These photos can be viewed as an animated sequence or viewed separately.
So why carry a book around when you can find that knot on your phone? I'm not sure how useful it would be in a stressful situation when you need to tie something quickly but if you have a few minutes then why not tie something properly rather than use an inferior knot?
All you have to do is follow this link:
Have fun!

Here is a link to an online magazine you may find interesting
This is Nautic Expo - "for your monthly dose of Nautic Innovation"

Click here to head to The Reading Offshore web site for all club information & updates
We have regular meetings the first Monday of the month at the Upper Thames Motor & Yacht Club (UTMYC) in Sonning. If you would like more information on any aspect head to our website or if you would like to discuss any point with a committee member about our sailing club or visiting us on a Monday to say hello, click here to email Linda, our publicity officer, who will be happy to answer any questions.
ROSC was established in 1971and continues with regular meetings. You don't have to own a boat as many rallies are available by land, meals in a local hostillery are arranged with pre-meal drinks often on one of the attending boats.
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