A paddle punt

September 25, 2009

Today I was walking by the Thames, as a break from work, when I noticed what I already knew to be an unusual boat was out.

It caught the attention of a number of people on the tow path, even though it was mid-stream.

Now I knew of this boat from earlier in the summer, in my early morning walks. One morning it was moored by Richmond riverside, and I was able to get some good pictures:

The moored paddle punt

This gives an idea of how it works. The paddles work like a duck’s legs/feet, with the mechanism operated by a bike pedal and chain mechanism. There is a rudder operated by something like bike handlebars beneath the seat.

If you have seen one of those bikes where the cyclist is horizontal, the pedals at the front, and the handlebars beneath the seat. that is approximately the operating position that the punter must adopt.

This boat appears to have been made by a Jamacian boatmaker based in the boat houses by Richmond Riverside. He was in the driving seat on the afternoon out on the Thames.

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