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Sayers, gaudy night (1935) The pleasure punts in use in England today were first built around 1860, becoming increasingly popular in the early 1900s. The evidence indicates that pleasure punting initially started on the non-tidal Thames and quickly spread across the country. 11 The first punting company (Scudamore's Punting Company) in the uk was founded in 1910. This company was bought out by a newer operation established in 1993 - who then changed their name to Scudamores and claim continuity with the older company. 12 13 Pleasure punting declined across much of England in the 1950s and 1960s in proportion to the increase in motor boat traffic on English rivers, but has since increased again as the tourist industry has grown in England. Punting is a popular leisure activity on the rivers of several well-known tourist destinations: there are commercial organisations that offer punts for hire on the avon in Bath, the cam in Cambridge, the Cherwell isis in Oxford, at Stratford-on-avon, and on the lower Thames near.

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When the pole comes vertical, pressure can be applied immediately to drive the punt forwards. This style of punting is particularly effective at providing power more continuously in fast-flowing streams or when the punt is moving quickly. This technique is more easily executed in shallow rivers. Racing punters tend to stand in the middle of the punt, because it is more efficient to. Indeed, many racing punts have cross braces with canvas covers both fore and aft, so trabajo it is only possible to stand in the middle. Pleasure punters may like to try punting from the middle, but it is probably advisable to remove the seats and the passengers first. It is also possible to punt tandem, that is with two punters standing one behind another in the middle of the boat, and generally punting from the same side. Some punt races are organised for pairs punting tandem. Punting in England edit i admit that it is better fun to punt than to be punted, and. A desire to have all the fun is nine-tenths of the law of chivalry.

If it does stick, let it go and use the paddle to bring the punt back. For the more experienced edit more experienced punters steer during the stroke instead of using the pole as a rudder. To do this they stand further forward all and keep to one side of the punt. To turn towards the side the punter is facing, the pole is thrown close to the punt and pulled towards the punter during the stroke (this is called "pinching" the punt to turn the other way the pole is thrown slightly further out and the. 10 Some experienced punters punt one-handed. This technique is slower and harder to master than punting with both hands, and consists of a "bucket" recovery of the pole (where the pole is thrown forward rather than just pulled up except that this recovery is done with one hand. It is also feasible to punt one-handed while turning the punt pole over, in the manner of a paddle wheel. The advantage this gives the punter is that the pole can be dropped onto the river bed at an angle forward of the punter's position, while the momentum of the punt continues.

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Nevertheless, the traditions are often essay strongly held; students at Oxford and Cambridge frequently believe that theirs is the only correct style, to the extent that the till end is often known as the "Cambridge End and the other as the "Oxford End". For the beginner edit punting on the Cherwell, under Magdalen Bridge, oxford rivington 9 recommends that the beginner should: Stand near the back of the punt (that is, on the "till" in Cambridge or on the "swim" in Oxford) and as near to the side. With the forward hand table throw the pole vertically down close to the side of the punt, guiding it with the lower hand. Let it fall all the way until it touches the bottom and then reach forward with both hands and gently push the pole past your chest. If you shove gently, you are less likely to steer wildly. At the end of the stroke, relax and allow the pole to float up like a rudder behind you. When the punt is going straight, recover the pole hand over hand until you can throw it down again and begin the next stroke. The habit of relaxing at the end of the stroke helps to avoid falling in should the pole unexpectedly get stuck.

After this there is no substitute for extensive hands-on practice on different stretches of river. For racing punting it is best to join a club, and to work on one's balance. Some punt racers practise by punting in canoes. 7 One of the keys to punting well is that the steering is done during the stroke, rather than by using the pole as a paddle or rudder; steering in this way requires less physical effort if the punter stands in the centre of the. Once the punt is underway, it is easier to keep it in a straight line if the weight in the punt is all on the same side, to tilt the punt slightly and to form a keel. For racing, therefore, the leading foot is placed to one side against the knee that is at, or just forward of, the centre of the boat, and does not move from that position; only the rear foot moves during the stroke. For pleasure punting the precise stance does not matter so much; it is more important that the punter remains relaxed and does not shove too hard. 8 Two rather different traditions have grown up in Oxford and Cambridge: in Cambridge most punters stand on the till and punt with the open end forward, while in Oxford they stand inside the boat and punt with the till forward. Since the rivers in both cities are narrow and often crowded, the opportunities for punting "at full pressure" are rare, so these variations in stance are of little practical importance.

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5 Punting technique edit punting is not as easy as it looks. As in rowing, you soon learn how to get along and handle the craft, but it takes long practice before you can do this with dignity and without getting the water all up your sleeve. Jerome, three men in a boat (1889) The basic technique of punting is to shove the boat along with a pole by pushing directly on the bed of the river or lake. In the 1870s, when punting for pleasure first became popular, the normal approach was for the passengers to sit at the stern on cushions placed against the till, and for the punter to have the run of the rest of the boat. The punter started at the bow, planted the pole, and then walked towards the stern, shoving the punt forwards.

This is known as "running" the punt. It was the normal technique used to move heavy fishing punts. As pleasure punts became lighter, it became more usual for the punter to stand still normally towards the stern while shoving. This is called "pricking" the punt. Pricking has the advantages essay that the punter is less likely to walk off the end of the punt inadvertently, and that more of the punt can be used to carry passengers. 6 For pleasure punting, the best way to learn is to start out in a boat with a competent punter to watch him or her at work.

The till provides some extra torsional rigidity, and is normally closed in; occasionally a locker may be built into. A small minority of punts, such as those made from fibreglass at Magdalen College, oxford have no single till in the usual sense, instead having very small tills at either end. A thames punt adapted as a pedalo The forerunners of pleasure punts, fishing punts, usually had an additional compartment, called a "well which extended across the width of the punt a little way in front of the till. This compartment was made water-tight, and had holes in the bottom or sides so that it could be flooded with water. It was used for keeping any caught fish. Punt poles edit further information: quant pole Three punt pole shoes in varying states of wear A traditional punt has no tiller nor any provision for oars, sails, or motor; instead it is propelled and directed with a pole.


Poles for pleasure punts are normally made of spruce or aluminium. A normal pole is about 1216 feet (45 m) long and weighs about 10 lb (5 kg). In both Oxford and Cambridge, long 16 ft (4.9 m) poles tend to be used exclusively. The bottom of the pole is fitted with a metal "shoe a rounded lump of metal to protect the end the shoe is sometimes made in the shape of a swallow tail. Traditional wooden poles are preferred by many experienced punters; they are more sympathetic on the hands (at least when in good condition; a splintered surface is less so) and make less noise on contact with the river bottom or the punt compared with an aluminium. Aluminium poles are considerably cheaper and stronger, so may be preferred by punt stations offering punts for hire to inexperienced punters; however, it is normally possible to choose either type. Racing poles are generally a great deal lighter than pleasure punt poles, and aluminium is the preferred material. It is usual to carry one or two spare poles in a race, so that one can keep punting if a pole gets stuck or is dropped. A punt pole differs from the fenland quant in that it does not have a cross piece at the top, and from the more generally used setting pole in that it only has a metal shoe on one end.

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The bottom of the punt is made with long, narrow planks stretching fore and aft, attached melisande to the flat sides and the treads. To allow the wood to swell when it gets wet, the planks are set a small distance apart (traditionally the width of an old penny, about 12 mm). The gaps are caulked ; this caulking normally needs to be renewed annually. The treads are attached to the sides with small wooden "knees which may be vertical or set at an angle. 4 The diagram above shows a punt without seats. The seats are usually just a simple board fitting student against blocks on the sides, with cushions. The gaps between the treads are normally fitted with gratings to allow the passengers to keep their feet dry. A punt can be punted with equal facility in either direction, so it is not obvious to the novice which end is the bow and which the stern; however, one end of the boat is strengthened with a short deck, usually called a "counter". The Thames punt-building tradition was that the end with the till was the stern, as shown in the diagram.

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A traditional punt is about 24 feet (7.3 m) long and 3 feet (0.91 m) wide. The sides are about 18 inches (0.5 m) deep. Both the bow and the stern are cut square, with a long shallow "swim this is to say, the underside of the boat slopes very gently at the front and the back. Both smaller and wider punts are made. Extra large and wide punts known as ferry punts may be seen in Cambridge, where many are used as water-borne tourist vehicles. Single seater Thames punts were normally made only 2 feet (60 cm) wide, and somewhat supervisor shorter than a standard punt; very few of these are still afloat. Racing punts, which are still used by a few specialist clubs on the lower Thames, may be built even narrower. Thames punts have occasionally been adapted for other means of propulsion: including sails, tow-ropes, and paddle wheels. With the addition of iron hoops and canvas awnings, punts have also been used for camping.

most similar boat is the. The Cherwell boathouse, a punt builder's workshop in Oxford established in 1904 Since a punt has no keel, it draws only a few inches even when fully laden; this makes it very manoeuvrable and suitable for shallow water. A punt can be punted with equal facility in either direction; this is handy in narrow streams where turning round may be difficult. The square-cut bow gives greater carrying capacity for a given length than a boat of the same beam with a narrow or pointed bow; it also makes the boat very stable, and suitable for passengers. Punts are still made in England to supply the tourist trade in Oxford and Cambridge or for racing purposes. The construction material of choice for most punts is wood. Fibreglass is used for some very light and narrow racing punts. The sides, the ends (known as "huffs and the "till" are normally made of hardwood such as mahogany. The treads are often made from teak. The bottom is made of softwood and may be replaced several times during the life of a particular boat.

Punts were originally built as cargo boats or platforms for fowling and angling, but in modern times their use is almost exclusively confined to pleasure trips with passengers. The term "punt" has also been used to indicate a smaller version of a regional type of long shore working boat, for example the deal Galley punt. This derives from the wide usage in coastal communities of the name "punt" for any small clinker-built open-stem general purpose melisande boat. 1, in Canada, the term punt can also refer to any small flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow, regardless of purpose, building material, or propulsion source. 2, in Australia, cable ferries are commonly referred to as punts. Contents, punt construction edit, a traditional river punt differs from many other types of wooden boat in that it has no keel, stem, or sternpost. Instead, it is built rather like a ladder with the main structure being two side panels connected by a series of 4 in (10 cm) cross planks, known as "treads spaced about 1 foot (30 cm) apart. The first punts are traditionally associated with the. River Thames in England and were built as small cargo boats or platforms for fishermen.

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This article concentrates on the history and development of punts and punting in England; for other usages see. Norfolk punt and the general disambiguation pages at punt (disambiguation) and punter. Punts and passengers in Cambridge, england. A punt is a flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow, designed for use in small rivers online or other shallow water. Punting refers to boating in a punt. The punter generally propels the punt by pushing against the river bed with a pole. A punt should not be confused with a gondola, a shallow draft vessel that is structurally different, and which is propelled by an oar rather than a pole.


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