Lymington River Scow Class Association OLD SITE



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I took the opportunity to drop in and have a chat to John last week.  It is always nice to see new scows in build and ready for delivery. Production continues at about the same rate. Eleven scows were registered in 2012 and there are three on order which is usual for this time of year. 
Many members sell their scows through John and he has three for sale.  One of them looks as if it hasn't been in the water.
John is now well settled into his new premises and continues to make improvements. He is planning to build a slipway into the pool above the railway bridge so that dinghies can be demonstrated.  At H.W. there is quite a large area for sailing.
John hopes to be running the business for some years yet but has a succession plan for when he decides to retire.
There are no plans to push sales of the Lymington Pram dinghy as being quite a heavy dayboat it either needs to sit on a mooring or needs two to launch it on a trolley.
He is now looking at building a new version of the SeaFly; he has happy memories of sailing one years ago and believes it will be popular with sailors who want a planing hull.
Although the strong fleets of LR Scows are at Lymington and Keyhaven, it is nice to hear that there have been sales at Emsworth and West Wittering. Hopefully its popularity will gradually spread along the coast and we will have truly National Championships in the future.
You will have already heard that John moved his business back in April.
The new address is 
John Claridge Boats,
Haven Marine Park,
Undershore Road,
SO41 5SB
We wish John and Midori every success in this change and hope the disruption to the business will be minimal. 
 I will leave my previous report below but suffice to say the first sentence should now read;
"You will find John's boat building premises by crossing the Lymington River on Bridge Rd and turning right as if heading for the Wightlink ferry terminal. Dead opposite the Wagon & Horses public house turn right along a gravel road and keep right until you come to a complex of industrial buildings. John's building is on the left".
I popped in to see John and took this photo of part of his new shed. It is a pleasure to see a new scow nearing completion in the foreground. Also notice the magnificent hoist.  Presumably, fitted with a strain gauge, this will make weighing boats a doddle. 
Please note - this was the situation in January before the move to Haven Marine Park.
This year John has moved his office and boat finishing operation into a new building and kept the old building for laying up the hulls, buoyancy tanks aJd decks. There is now much more space in the finishing shed for the chandlery. I must say it looked very impressive to see four brand new scows almost ready for delivery.  Once they are measured by Andrew Tyrell they will be ready for collection. A special thanks to Andrew who measures the boats at short notice so that they can be delivered to eager owners.  Two scows are being shipped to Holland where they will part of the extras on a superyacht.

It has been a good year for John with a steady flow of orders and another sixteen scows were delivered in 2011.  Ten boats are already on order for 2012 and this is before the sailors wake up at Easter and realise that a LR Scow is a must have.

Prices have been kept the same despite increases in material costs. 

The second hand market is buoyant and John still sells boats for members; in fact they don’t hang about and some have been sold sight unseen.

Small changes have been made to the Scows this year in that better fittings are being used.  For example the upper halyard block was prone to failure and this has been replaced with a deadeye. (I noticed a good stock of Harken fittings in the chandlery so I might give Riada a birthday treat this year!) 

John can also supply a foil bag, which protects the rudder blade when stowed in the boat.

A new scow mould was made this year which although expensive should be ok for about one hundred boats. 

Finally, so that John doesn’t get bored making scows, last year John built six new British Moths for the Salterns which has prompted other Moth enthusiasts to order new boats no doubt encouraged by our Scow National champion Robbie also winning their championships in one of the new boats.

I think we can be assured that the building of the LR Scows is in good hands and we look forward to a steady stream of new boats joining the fleet.

Brian Buckingham