Ships at Shiplake

Ok, the knowledgeable will know they’re boats not ships, but oh boy, or oh buoy, we have certainly seen a wide variety of craft floating past Firecrest whilst moored at Lower Shiplake.
The most impressive was The New Orleans, a replica paddle steamer, flagship of the Hobbs of Henley fleet.

Now thats the way to go for a paddle

But perhaps one of the most prestigious was the Alaska, another steamer, but this time genuinely part of the national historic fleet, built in 1883, and has been used for the Queen’s Royal Barge.

The steam boat Alaska

Of course not all the boats are quite so elegant but on a sunny sunday afternoon the occupants are still having just as much fun

Some are having to work harder than others

I havent quite worked out the pleasure of travelling backwards yet

Some boats seem very high tech, these rowers were too serious to stop for a chat, we wondered if they are training for some sort of ocean rowing challenge as it had a stabilizer, its the only boat of this style that we’ve seen.

This is some high tec kit

This one seems like its cheating, but I suppose if you can have an E-bike, why not an an E-canoe, it certainly looked a lovely boat.

Youve gotta love an electric boat

Of course we’ve lost count of the cruisers whizzing up and down,

Noisy and fast. Not for me.

but its the Dutch barge style boats that prompt the “… our next boat ….” conversations

I think the biggest argument would be the colour, I love it….

That’s when were not suffering from house envy

Our mooring with a view

Of course for some life on the water is a breeze

But I’m afraid we had a bit of a chuckle here, its not much of a breeze when your boat breaks down and you have to be towed home

The boat that one aspires to is a beautiful Gentleman’s launch.

but for those that don’t have a property with a boat house in which to keep such luxury we saw this concept boat whose owner and inventor stopped to chat

Stopping for a chat

We were seeing it on its launch day, so much so that it doesn’t even have an advertising website yet. But the name on the side is Pubboat. Its a collapsible inflatable design using the modern paddleboard materials that hold the sides rigid like this unlike traditional inflatable dinghies. It folds up small enough to put into the boot of his VW golf. And I think he said it would retail for around £1500. I’m sure this is one for the Dragons Den

Good luck guys

And I haven’t even begun to mention the rowers, paddleboarders, kayaks, swimmers or dogs that we saw in the water. It certainly makes a change from the canals