All Content By Tess Read
Regular readers of the column will know that I decided some months ago that 2021 needed to be the year of the boat.
And so many trips to Salcombe were arranged, with friends and family, to take out small motorboats upon the glistening blue waters and have picnics on far off sandy beaches basking in the sunshine. Of course, English weather being what it is, at least one of these boat trips actually took place upon choppy grey waters, while we revelled in our blue lips, and shivered our way back home. Thus, proving that renting a boat at a time you pre-arrange, is not the same as owning your own boat, and taking it out whenever you like. i.e., only when it is warm and sunny.
Luckily, nobody else had thought that this year needed to be the year they buy a boat. Oh wait, sadly untrue – in fact, if you search for second-hand boats, you will find there are basically none at all for sale! Which was fortunate really as me and him outdoors had definitely not got further than first base regarding which kind of boat to buy. Me: ‘It’s got to have a motor.’ Him: ‘It’s got to have sails.’ Me: ‘I would like a lovely wooden one that’s like something out of swallows and amazons. But with an added electric motor. And preferably made locally, definitely using sustainable wood. Oh, and we don’t have anywhere to store a big thing so it needs to fold up.’ Him: ‘I have literally found just the thing.’ Me: ‘No way?!!’ But in fact, way.
Seahoppers they are called. Small, perfectly formed, wooden boats hand made in Newton Abbot which you can buy with oars, sails, electric engine and the best bit – the boat folds up. It literally folds and fits on the roof of the car! The ingenuity and creativity is amazing! The lifespan is pretty good too – when ours was delivered there was another in the van, a bit tatty, I was rather worried to see. Oh no, I was reassured, that’s not out for delivery. That one is 25 years old and coming back for a refurb. Wow. Look out for us on the Exe sailing, rowing or motoring along, smiling all the while, and if the rainclouds come you can assume a quick exit from the water and what nobody expects – a folding boat.