Following the frustrations and delays of 2013 I am delighted to advise the PSPS day of celebration cruises aboard the Monarch has been re-arranged for Thursday 1st May. If you have ever hankered to be part of a paddle steamer operation, this could be the answer!
If you are enthusiastic to support and unable to attend this meeting, please advise your secretary. It should be noted, these are public sailings and members should book their tickets through the usual channels. Tuesday 20th May 2014 - The Institute of Mechanical Engineers is presenting PS Kingswear Castle with an award on Tuesday 20 May as a mark of her unique place in British maritime history.
All PSPS members, especially those in the Dart area, are very welcome to join the steamer as fare paying passengers with PSPS discount fares on the two sailings after the presentation. Do please come aboard and meet the trustees of PS Kingswear Castle Trust, the legal owner of the steamer on behalf of the Society, and members of the PSPS Wessex and Dart Branch Committee. Thursday 21st August 2014 - Kingswear Castle is due to sail up river for Totnes, leaving Dartmouth at 1200, arriving Totnes at 1330, and returning down river from Totnes at 1345. A free vintage bus service will operate from from Alton Railway Station on the Mid Hants Railway 'Watercress Line' to Chawton for Jane Austen's House.
Owing to a clash of dates with the Isle Of Wight Railway, our 'show stalwart', Geoffrey Ryder, is unable to represent the branch at this years Festival.
Our very busy experience at the Maritime Festival last year serves to suggest the Wessex Branch & "WAVERLEY" would substantially benefit from a presence in 2014.
Poole Harbour Commissioners are compiling a record of the role of the Port of Poole during the First World War.
Following the major storm damage in March last year leaving a mid-section of the Victorian Pier on the verge of collapse, repairs have now been completed thanks to the incredible efforts of the local community, the amazing generosity of the public and a grant of ?39,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Commenting on the grant award, Nerys Watts (HLF's Head of South West) said: "Throughout its history, Swanage Pier has been of great significance to the town and its community, first as an important commercial asset and more recently as an essential part of the leisure activities available in the area. I am delighted to advise we are able, once again, to offer a weekend of events based around the, now traditional, Saturday lunch at the Suncliff Hotel, Bournemouth. For the Sunday, we are indebted to Wessex & Dart Branch member Norman Aish who is freely offering to provide his delightfully restored, ex Hants & Dorset, 1967 vintage Bristol FLE6B double-deck bus for a Dorset Coastal Tour. Having served as your secretary for a number of years, I have made the decision to retire from the role and the Wessex & Dart Branch committee at the end of this year.
Great News for PSPS members and all lovers of coastal cruising is that preparations are now well underway for Balmoral to at last leave her berth in Bristol City Docks to sail under her own power to Sharpness Dry Dock.
In closing, I would thank you all for your valued support and look forward to meeting as many members as possible, at one or more of our events, over the summer and during the forthcoming winter. Don't forget to visit our new and much improved website that provides an abundance of information and photographs from all of the Society's branches at, just, the click of a key! The Society is a company limited by guarantee (having no share capital), registered in England and Wales No. COMPLETE PLANS include FULL SIZE PATTERNS for side planking, paddlewheel disc and pad, paddles, crank, bow, transom and half section patterns of the bottom planking and building form. This is the Oars and Paddles category of information.This woodworkers list of free woodworking plans and projects features a collection of canoe and kayak paddles and oars that any moderately skilled do-it-yourselfer can build. Paddle, Wooden CanoeThis canoe paddle was first carved as a model from a section of a willow branch and then an actual full size paddle was created from a 2 inch by 6 inches redwood board.
Canoe Paddle  If you would like to make a canoe paddle, just follow along as I show you how I did it.
Oars and Paddle Making, Eskimo Style  In my humble opinion Eskimo or Aluet style paddles are preferable to the conventional high tech river paddle for sea kayaking.
Oars and Paddle, Greenland Kayak  Traditional Greenland paddles can get fashioned cheaply from basic stock with a little wood working skill and a few simple tools. Oars and Paddles, Making  Flatsawn wood tends to be springier, while quartersawn wood, while leading to a stronger shaft, can snap off unexpectedly.

Oars and Paddles, Making Northwoods  Ash and maple are the two types of wood to use when making a North Woods paddle, and it makes little difference which is used. Oars, Quick and Easy  By Paul Butler - Rowing a boat takes more than just grabbing a pair of oars. Oars, Seven Foot  These are for the wedding-gift sailboat to the oldest son, so the family consensus is that store-bought oars or my cruder, painted workboat oars will not do I will have to bite the bullet and finish something in ugh brightwork.
Oars, Simple Boat  Instructions and diagrams to help you make your own simple boat oars. Paddle, Canoe  A paddle is enjoyable to use when it is the right size and has the right fit for your handgrip, two things that are hard to get from a store-bought paddle.
Paddle, West Greenland (PDF)  The Greenland paddle has become increasingly popular among sea kayakers in North America, Europe, and other parts of the world. Paddle, Wooden Canoe  This canoe paddle was first carved as a model from a section of a willow branch and then an actual full size paddle was created from a 2 inch by 6 inches redwood board. Touring Paddles, Single and Double  There are two paddles detailed in this pack single bladed and double bladed. The owners of the Monarch are seeking volunteer assistance in marketing, managing and operation of the Monarch.
If you would like to find out more about the objects, aims and likely practical application of the volunteer group. It is hoped many members will support these cruises giving the opportunity to make new acquaintances and meet members of the committee in an informal atmosphere whilst enjoying the delights of, both, the steamer and the stunning Dart scenery. KC is 90 years old this year and her engines, built by Cox and Co Falmouth for her predecessor, are 110 years old.
This is an opportunity to get to know more of our Dart area members, many of which have joined the Society in 2013. We are, however, indebted to Nigel Philpot for offering us space and facilities aboard the Shieldhall to promote the visit of, both, Waverley and the PSPS.
We are, therefore, seeking volunteers to represent the branch aboard Shieldhall dispensing publicity material and, generally, answering questions regarding the Society and its ships.
Branch Chairman Chris Wood and your secretary spent the day showing David the calling points and facilities at Poole, Bournemouth and Swanage before David moved on to Southampton.
The Swanage Pier Trust reopened the repaired section of the Pier on Friday 28th February at 12pm. A team of volunteers have been specially trained to document, extract and replace the many brass plaques from the pier as part of the process. Or the good old fashioned cheque is still fine by us - made payable to MV Balmoral Fund Ltd.
In the fast moving world it is not always possible to include the latest information in the body of 'Paddle Wheels'. The once square paddle boxes have been replaced by the more traditional and eye pleasing oval design. 2167853, and a charity registered in England and Wales (298328) and in Scotland (SC037603). A full size pattern is given for the sides and one in half section for the bottom: no complicated layouts required. And a Plywood Layout illustrates how the parts are laid out on the plywood with virtually no waste. Also included are complete step-by-step Instructions, Bill of Materials, Laminating and Fastening Schedules. Fitting oars of the proper size and weight to a boat means experimenting with blade area, weight and flexibility.
Choose a light weight wood as you want the finished paddle to be light in your hands (examples: spruce, pine, cedar, redwood as lumber or logs).
It is usual to carry single bladed paddles on a canoe, but a double bladed paddle can be useful as an auxiliary when paddling by yourself or in calm conditions.

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The committee always endeavour to seek new and interesting subjects complemented by a range of relative historical matter.
It is also an opportunity to talk further about a very interesting proposal from DSRRBCo that during busy days in the coming summer, PSPS members might act as hosts on board KC talking to passengers about the history of the steamer and the long tradition of sailings on the River Dart, which she represents. If you feel you are able to donate a few hours on behalf of the branch fulfilling this important role, please contact your secretary without delay. The opportunity was taken to discuss a variety of local operational issues, both old and new, with a view to developing a more harmonious ongoing relationship between the branch and the operating company. If any member has any memorabilia, information or photographs they would be prepared to make available to the Commissioners, please forward details to your secretary.
The Trust also celebrated the completion of other repairs which concluded just prior to the storm damage.
A display has been produced to illustrate the heritage and the progress of the repair work; this is currently visiting several local venues.
We are fortunate and delighted to welcome PSPS Chairman Iain Dewar as one of our after-dinner speakers and, subject to working commitments, the very popular figure of Captain Ian Clark who will be relating tales of his life at sea and his commands, particularly, of Waverley and Balmoral. If you feel you would be interested in undertaking this interesting and fulfilling role please contact me.
Please contact individual web sites if you have questions about those woodworking projects.
There is information on sizing the paddles to the user - this is particularly important on long trips. The paddle I make does require a bandsaw, but the technique I describe can be adapted to hand tools.
The instructions in my book describe the basic method for making any laminated paddle and includes time saving methods. The charity was set up to provide sheltered work rehabilitation, in a supportive but realistic working environment, for people with severe and enduring mental illness.
In an ideal world it would be good to have the new 'secretary designate' in place as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transfer of information can be achieved.
We are optimistic that she is still in “reasonable condition” but this is a 5-yearly survey and expensive work will still be required. Once again, a varied and interesting programme of meetings, cruises and events has been arranged. One of the major items here being extensive "ultrasonic tests" carried out on her entire hull. The charity's aim is to create a loving community for people who often feel frightened, lonely, isolated and powerless. I am confident we can relay upon your generous support for this very worthwhile organisation. Thanks to wonderful donations and pledges already received we are able to commit to this amount of work. Full details and booking form will be distributed with the summer edition of 'Paddle Wheels'.
But we already know that some re-plating will be needed and other things may come to light at dry docking. If we were able to pay for these while Balmoral is actually in dry dock it will save a huge amount of money. The cost of a second dry-docking to carry out these repairs before the August MCA deadline for re-certification could put the whole project in jeopardy.

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