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HSC club boats alongside Snape Quay, at the head of the River Alde, Suffolk

snape

The river Alde in Suffolk is northern extremity of our cruising area and Snape Quay is the head of navigation. To get up here you follow colour coded withies which mark the channel as it twists and turns across broad mud flats then there is a final narrow stretch through reed beds up to the Quay. The quay once served the Maltings, now converted into a plush concert hall plus art gallery, coffee shop and craft workshops.

The picture shows our wayfarer 'Merganser' and alongside her 'Mehala' which was the first dinghy we purchased, prior to the Wayfarer era. Mehala was one of the earlier dinghies to be built in fibreglass. Although the hull shell and seating were grp the boat was built on a wooden keel and and had a wooden centreboard case. The centreplate and rudder were both galvanised steel. I have come across a couple of sister ships, I wonder how many were built. Indeed one of our more recent members purchased a second hand boat and asked me what type it was - it turned out to be a Mehala sister ship. Mehala sailed slower than the Wayfarer but was a good boat for beginners. For a time we had an outboard motor on Mehala as in this picture but we now seem to manage fine without motors on our dinghies. The tent on Mehala was a bit of a lash up but one of our members did sleep on board.