With the London and Düsseldorf boat shows now behind us, I took away with me two principal thoughts. One was the continued positivity in current times of some yacht companies to launch new boats, as witnessed by Hanse for example with four new yachts ranging from 35’ to 55’. But whilst those boats and others drew the interest and curiosity of a large audience, it was still the array of classic boats present that drew me in. Whilst many of the new composite yachts showed refinements in deck layout and accommodation fit out, the raw quality of wood remains a pleasure to the eye.
At both London and Düsseldorf, there were dedicated classic boat stands with craft of quality and a nature of construction that has lasted the test of time and the live demonstrations and talks by traditional craftsmen and enthusiastic association members. It so reminded me that with modern construction technology put to one side, there remains a place for traditional craft. This was also witnessed by the interests surrounding those renowned models from Cornish Crabbers and Drascombe, by Churchouse boats.
It was reassuring to see Barton fittings on many an enthusiast’s boat, as well as those classic models in active production today, especially when we have both launched a new block range, and extended the range of our ‘Victory’ range of wooden blocks. As with the approach taken by the craftsmen who made those wooden boats, so Barton continues to adopt that same approach to ensure longevity and durability of the wooden blocks, which are comprised of ash, a strong stainless steel frame, bronze, and not only have Delrin ball bearings, but Torlon needles too. Knowing how lovingly those classic boats are maintained, our Victory blocks can be disassembled by the owner, and can be maintained and serviced in the same way as their prized boats are into the future.
At Barton, we feel that classic boats continue to be an important market, especially now that we have such blocks that were designed for both the traditionalist – and the sailor who appreciates the appearance and feel of wood, yet can get technical excellence in its application as well. At present, they have been very well received, which is gratifying to know that we can identify and reach sailors with products we know they desire.