Ordinary men stretched to the limit at sea

J. P. W. 'Curly' Mallalieu's raw and gripping novelisation of his own wartime experience—from basic training to action and danger in a convoy to Arctic Russia, sold tens of thousands of copies within months of publication in 1944. Everything recounted here actually happened to him or one of his shipmates, and Very Ordinary Seaman, out of print for many years, remains the finest account of naval life below decks in World War II. Read more.

Functional beauty in timber

Forthright and Steadfast were two of many wooden fishing boats created by the Peterhead firm of Richard Irvin & Sons from the 1950s to the 1970s, and their names characterise the entire output of the yard. In Forthright & Steadfast artist, photographer and fishing industry journalist Gloria Wilson gives us her appreciation, in words and some one hundred photos and drawings, of the boats themselves and some of the individuals who designed, built and operated them. Read more.

The story of a much-loved book and its Good Little Ship

Good Little Ship is a blend of literary criticism, maritime history and sheer celebration. Author and journalist Peter Willis analyses a classic of maritime literature – Arthur Ransome’s We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea – and recounts the story of the Nancy Blackett, Ransome’s own boat which appears as the Goblin in his story and continues to give pleasure to many young sailors. Read more

Deservedly back in print...

...is this charming and evocative book by Surgeon Rear Admiral John Muir on his times afloat betwixt and between his Royal Navy service. Here are first-hand accounts of work afloat before the Great War—in the North Sea fishery, and aboard a working Pilot Cutter. Read more...

To the ends of the earth

Half a century ago a band of young men set out to climb, for the first time, one of the world’s most inaccessible mountains, deep in the Southern Ocean. Just getting there would be a challenge in itself, and this is where the redoubtable sailor and navigator H W ‘Bill’ Tilman came in. Read more...

The ideal small sailing cruiser?

Rick Powell thinks so, and in The Canoe Yawl he describes and illustrates its Victorian origins, why we should consider it for estuary and coastal cruising, some of the personalities associated with it, some notable surviving examples, and a twenty-first century approach to building one. Read more...

Holmes is back...

...Yes the book which started this enterprise back in 2009—the complete George Holmes. And for this edition we're delighted that the Yorkshire poet, writer and broadcaster Ian McMillan, the 'Bard of Barnsley' with a soft spot for Humberside, has contributed a Foreword. Read more...

‘Affordable English Classics’

Thomas Harrison Butler designed small to medium sized family yachts of a classical beauty, and their owners today are an enthusiastic and far-flung family themselves. Here is a long-awaited and redesigned Fifth Edition of HB's book on design and fitting out, including a new colour gallery of HB yachts. Read more...

'No pay, no prospects, not much pleasure'

So, he claimed (perhaps in jest), wrote H. W. Tilman in a crew recruitment advertisement in The Times circa 1960. We however offer you the prospect of considerable pleasure (but still no pay) in reading a new Collected Edition of every one of Tilman’s 15 books, and his biography. Read more...

'Comely and exemplary...'

Is how artist Gloria Wilson describes the fishing boat Delightful which adorns the cover of her new book; it might apply to all 48 crystal-clear line drawings distilled from her lifetime association with Britain's fishing industry. A fine record of a distinctive regional maritime tradition. Read more...

'Incapable of writing a dull sentence...'

George Millar trained as an architect, worked as a journalist, and in the Second World War became a soldier much-decorated by both France and the United Kingdom; all this experience is brought to bear in this long-unavailable account of a cruise around post-war France and Iberia. Read more...

Albert Strange

Albert Strange leaves us agape at his assured grasp of the fields of painting, writing, sailing and of course the yacht design for which he is perhaps best remembered today. We're delighted to bring you our new, revised edition of this book by John Leather and The Albert Strange Association. Read more.

The Sea and The Snow—The Movie!

Fourteen minutes of unpublished cine footage, by Malcolm Hay and Warwick Deacock, of the high latitude, high altitude derring-do described in Philip Temple’s book The Sea and The Snow is now online at the Australian Geographic Society here.... read more

Tilmanfest at Yachting Monthly

Our new H W Tilman Collected Edition has now reached 10 of the 16 volumes to be published by next June, and is gathering some serious attention. Yachting Monthly have selected for their ‘Book at Bunktime’ (!) in the November issue Tilman’s gripping... read more

Castaway saved by a saw

In 2012 I discovered The Invisible Workshop, the boatbuilding and sailing blog run by Ben Crawshaw from his home on the Catalan coast of Spain, featuring Onawind Blue, his self-built Light Trow design by Gavin Atkin. His blog has been quiet of late but... read more

Strange goings on in Woodbridge

Some readers will know that I am fairly heavily implicated in The Albert Strange Association—the fan club for that Victorian/Edwardian ‘Rennaissance Man’. England’s East Coast (as we call the Thames Estuary, compared to which England’s... read more

Retrieving the pilot cutter’s dinghy

You’ll have spotted that our latest title Messing About in Boats has just appeared. As a correspondent familiar with the first edition wrote to me yesterday, a delightful book of real sailing from a man who comes over as being kind, compassionate and... read more

Viola edges a step nearer to home

We heard the other day from Viola principal author Robb Robinson, who tells us: We have secured the support of the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) and their permission to recover the vessel, providing we carry out an environmental... read more

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