Watchet Boat Museum Flatner Plans
By John Nash. Published at a cost of £15 or £45 including postage and available from: The Watchet Boat Museum, 3, Almyr Terrace, Watchet, Somerset, TA23 0DB.Tel: 01984 633 117. Cheques should be made payable to "FOFA", please.
As many members will know the Watchet Boat Museum specialises in a now forgotten form of vessel once prevalent in the Bridgwater and adjacent coastal areas known as the "Flatner". This shallow draft boat was simply constructed and efficient either under sail or when rowed and was in many ways similar to the craft found in parts of the world from Jamaica to South America, from India to China and from South Africa to the United States, being evolved from a very early form of vessel.
John Nash, the curator of the Watchet Boat Museum has spent many hours putting together two sets of plans to make more available details of the history and the construction of the type of vessel. For those who would like a full set of the actual plans of the flatners, these can be obtained printed on paper at a cost of £45.00 from the museum, which includes the complete CD. This CD contains a great deal of additional and detailed information which is designed to assist the boatbuilder wishing to construct a full sized reproduction which together with the significantly more detailed plans should enable anyone with a modicum of skill to construct a sailing flatner for themselves. Having viewed both the CDs I feel John Nash is to be congratulated in presenting ‘all things to all men’, in that the higher specified CD and plans would also enable a model-maker to construct a scale model of the flatner to much greater detail should he wish to do so. This is accompanied by an easily understood text together with diagrams and photographs setting out just what has to be done to achieve an accurate sailing replica of a type of Bristol Channel craft of which few examples remain.
For the assistance of the individual who merely wishes to construct a simple model of the flatner, a similar but simpler set of plans and an accompanying CD with less specific content, designed for model-makers which omits those details not required for model making is obtainable for just £15.00. Now to the ‘simpler’ CD itself. This includes the sheets of the plans and the photographs. The text and the coloured photographs are clear and well chosen, taking the aspiring builder of a model, stage by stage though the work in a clear and easily followed manner. John Nash is to be congratulated on such an excellent piece of work, which in the size of a CD encompasses so much information. For those users who do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader 6 on their computer this is provided on the CD. Once installed this can be used to read any documents from any source using that format which has become the standard that practically all operating systems, be they PC, Mac, Linux, etc, recognise. I would mention that when John Bethel and I were working on the Mariner’s Mirror on CD, we also chose the ‘pdf’ format for that very reason.
These are to be recommended to all members of SWMH Society for their clarity and content.
Reviewed by David Clement
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look for plans for pt boat 109
we are comming to Watchet on Monday 19th April, and look forward to visiting your museum. We have not yet found it open, We hope to find it open this year. We love the Market museum, and enjoy fossil hunting on the beach at Doniford Bay. We come down several times a year, it feels like our adopted home. we will be down for two weeks in May as welll so we SHOULD find you open
With all good wishes Lesley Sparrow