A single scull for coastal rowing without feeling too vulnerable, yet relatively easy to haul up a rock-strewn beach.
keep a continuous lookout. And it is jolly nice to know how fast you are going. In fact, the GPS is a bit distracting until you get used to it.
Two miles off the picturesque but alarmingly rocky north Devon coast, one can feel very vulnerable in a boat just 17’7” long and 3’5” wide (5.36m x 1.03m). But when we went out for lunch we could ship the oars by resting the blades on the stern and tuck in without feeling at all unstable. Try that trick in a fine-lined scull and you will end up in the drink in seconds.
Despite the relatively wide beam, the boat is capable of a surprising turn of speed. We frequently clocked 6 knots on our leisurely outings, and Paul tells me that 6.5 knots has been recorded in still water.
For Paul Zink, the Clovelly Scull is the culmination of a lifetime in boats. He built his first as a 10 year old boy in Cape Town. “I got a sheet of corrugated iron left over from a building site, bent it into shape and added wooden frames. The bow and stern were sealed by scooping up tar from the roads, which melts in the sun in South Africa,” he recalls.
He sailed dinghies competitively, sailed yachts for a living and was in the Merchant Navy for a while. When it came to designing the hull, he returned to the boat he most admired.
“My inspiration was the 10 Square Metre International Sailing Canoe. I took the hull's best points and adapted them for sculling, with finer lines and improved directional stability,” he says.
The hull and deck are made on the Isle of Wight using a composite pre-imprednated epoxy/glass laminate with a lightweight core to ensure maximum strength and minimum weight. The sliding rigger wing is the most high-tech part of the boat, made of carbon fibre mainly for its combination of rigidity and lightness but also as a style statement - the sweeping shape is elegant and stylish.
John Rous brings decades of business experience to the operation, much of it running the Clovelly Estate which he inherited from his mother.
Rous believes the boat will sell well because there is a big hole in the market.
“Because I enjoyed it, it seemed worth finding out if it was attractive to others,” he says. “A lot of us live close to the sea where the typical sculling boat is inappropriate because of its lack of stability.”
The Clovelly is now in production at a price of £4,370 including VAT, which is comparable with a racing shell without its offshore capability.
“We have already sold a few, mainly in the local area, but we have had strong interest from as far away as Germany and Canada,” Rous says. “We think there are lots of people rowing round the coast in the UK, the lakes in Europe and the eastern seaboard of the US who will be interested in the Clovelly Scull.”
CONTACT Clovelly Sculls, The Estate Office, Clovelly, Bideford EX39 5SY Tel: +44 (0)1237 431200 www.clovellysculls.co.uk www.watercraft-magazine.com