We bought our delightful little mascareta “Settemari”. from the Settemari club for €1,100 in March 2006. She is light, easy to launch, and responds quickly. Tim Williams has offered to lead the club in crafting her twin to create a matched pair.

Guido Bote with his plan for mascarettas

Settemari was built by father and son team, Guido and Marco Bote. Guido was a friend of Piero’s when they were both young. Guido was a wizard with a band saw, and cut out all the panels and other parts. Marco banged the boat together with iron nails in one or two days. The boat is roughly built but sturdy enough. It was probably made as part of a racing set, as under the paint it is named “Settemari 1”.

She was trailed from Venice by Tim Williams and another club member, along with “Regalo” which was a gift from Settemari.

Cloning Settemari

Tim Williams has offered to lead the club in making a copy. She is 7.29 meters long, 1.2 meters wide, and weighs about 140 kilos.

Tim plans to give talk at the AGM which will gauge the measure of support for this project from amongst the general membership. The committee has already given Tim their support. If all goes well, a team to make this happen will be formed. I think the group could usefully spend two months planning, preparing, buying in the materials, and borrowing tools. The actual assembly will probably take about five days, spread over a couple of weeks.

Tim plans to use better fixings than the Venetians who use steel nails. The boat can have more extensive floorboards making it more comfortable to be in, and a better picnic boat. Settemari itself can be bought up to this standard and become a dual use boat rather than austere racer.

Reasons for cloning this particular boat:

1/ It’s the easiest boat to launch that we have

2/ It’s a good boat in which to practice improving rowing skills because it responds so readily

3/ A second one would give us a matched pair for racing.

4/ It would be a good use of the £5,000 Rob van Mesdag left us in his will

5/ Its simple construction makes it easy to copy

6/ Being light, less damage is caused when there is a crash

7/ The finished boat can be named after Rob, maybe by his erstwhile partner Michaele

If we succeed in making a boat ourselves, as a group, it will be a great boost to our morale. If it’s ready by the time of our regatta in September, it can be used in the races.

Richard Bailey, 11 January 2022