Luke Powell’s Working Sail is back!

The success of Christian Topf’s epic production From the Loft Floor to the Sea shows that interest in traditional wooden boatbuilding, and the pilot cutter as an exemplar of it, is unabated. We’ve now reissued Luke’s 2012 account of his life in wooden boats – covering the entire bevy of his earlier pilot cutters.

You can learn more and secure a copy here.

Truly, a place apart

It’s not just about the boats, but their presence is strong in the North Yorkshire fishing village of Staithes. We had a lovely weekend in November accompanying author Gloria Wilson – who was brought up here – to local signing sessions. Local historian James Stoker gave us a grand walking tour of this hardy, self-reliant, eccentric, and now much changed settlement, for which the term ‘higgledy-piggledy’ might have been invented.

Let Gloria guide you too on a stroll around the village she loves; start here.

How it all began

George Holmes was an influential figure in the design and sailing of small boats from the late nineteenth century until well into the twentieth. His prolific writings, drawings, etchings, and designs had never been collected when, in 2009, my friend Tony Watts of the Humber Yawl Club agreed to take on this task, and incorporate a biography of Holmes. The success of Holmes of the Humber, our first book, got Lodestar Books off the ground.

Holmes is finally out of print, but you can now enjoy a copy in PDF form – click here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Words written on water

Words written on water

Our first book had sold out a few years before, and we had the feeling it was time for a new edition in our now-standard robust softcover format, and that there remained an unplumbed audience among people who, though perhaps not habitual readers of sailing books,...

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This was living, at its best

This was living, at its best

Around the turn of the twentieth century the Humber Yawl Club exerted a national, and international, influence in the world of cruising under sail which completely belied the parochial horizon its name suggests. George Holmes (1861–1940) was for decades the leading...

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No better test of character

No better test of character

Most people reading this have enjoyed lives markedly more comfortable than those of their parents or grandparents. My own father served at sea when a teenager during World War II, as a stoker and coal trimmer on tramp steamers and later on deep-sea rescue tugs, on...

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Handy with a toolbox

Handy with a toolbox

Martin O'Scannall has enjoyed a love affair of more than forty years with his 1913 gaff cutter Sauntress, beginning with her rebuild and culminating in the glories pictured here. Below is his account of her sojourn in a boatyard at Brentford on the Thames in west...

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No better test of character

No better test of character

Most people reading this have enjoyed lives markedly more comfortable than those of their parents or grandparents. My own father served at sea when a teenager during World War II, as a stoker and coal trimmer on tramp steamers and later on deep-sea rescue tugs, on...

read more

More stories >>