Snappers time, that season of post-festive, hungover, and slightly forced jollity

It?s Snappers time, that season of post-festive, hungover, and slightly forced jollity which sees the great and good of the marine industry
opening their mail with increasing bemusement as they unfurl their commemorative certificates, each of which sports a large and cheerful red fish. Yes, the Motor Boat & Yachting Awards are back, to mark the best and worst of 2001.

The British Nautical Awards are all very well, but obviously limited in their scope to things British; whereas, as we all know, boats and products worthy of note are occasionally made in places of a foreign persuasion. The MBY Awards mark excellence, or otherwise, from the worldwide stage.
That said, this year the winners of our major boatbuilding awards do all happen to be British, one of them so defiantly so that its main mode of propulsion is a second-hand Gardner engine, while the other two spring from the fertile drawing board (PCs, actually) of Bernard Olesinski, about whom you can read more.

David Cowper?s Polar Bound was well covered by this magazine during 2001, but for anyone unfamiliar with the story it?s a most unusual boat built for a most unusual cruise: a bomb-proof 50 tonnes of aluminium destined to spend the next three years, winter and summer, in the North-East Passage in what its owner, who intends to be on board the whole time, plans to be the first solo transit of that almost entirely theoretical waterway.

The fact that this exceptional vessel was built to such standards by a virtually unknown boatyard in a wholly unfrequented corner of Scotland speaks volumes for the levels of talent and expertise that exist in UK boatbuilding today.

It?s almost enough, you might suppose, to deserve a British Nautical Award.David Cowper and his boat are about to depart for the Arctic (via Cape Horn, by way of a shakedown).

We wish them well.