New and Neglected Nautical Writing

A humble background

A humble background

Like many boys reared on British rivers by the sea, David grew up with a nat­ur­al love for boats and sail­ing. In later years he would trans­late this into a busi­ness which would set trends in yacht design and con­struc­tion, but even as a young lad he was show­ing flair.…

Making good looking shapes

Making good looking shapes

Knees are an imme­di­ate indic­a­tion of the boatbuilder’s abil­ity to make good look­ing shapes. Ideally one would like to use an oak crook. However, in these hon­est times, crooks are pretty hard to come by and also must be well seasoned before use, par­tic­u­larly if…

Like a box of jewels

Like a box of jewels

Someone, some­where wrote that George Millar was incap­able of writ­ing a dull sen­tence, and never was that more true than in his three books of sail­ing mem­oirs. Oyster River, set in the Morbihan in Brittany, and Isabel and the Sea, relat­ing a voy­age through the French…

The Yorkshire Coble

The Yorkshire Coble

Perhaps the most curi­ous craft which is found in use by the fish­er­men round the coasts of Britain is the Yorkshire coble [writes George Holmes in 1912]. Along with the Sheringham boat—referred to and described in a former number—this type is used for crab­bing by the…

Tangaroa

Tangaroa

By March of 1954 we had enough money for me to stop work­ing and begin build­ing in the farm loft. I cleared the chick­en shit out, blocked up the gaps in the walls and lev­elled the floor. Building a small boat alone is like an exer­cise in med­it­a­tion; through­out the…

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…

To readers in North America, Australia, and New Zealand

We’re sorry that inter­na­tion­al ship­ping, since Covid, has become so expens­ive. But there is some good news: Some of our books are stocked by WoodenBoat and Small Craft Advisor in the US, and most of them are held by our new dis­trib­ut­ors in Australia and New Zealand,…

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James Wharram 1928–2021

James Wharram 1928–2021

With sad­ness, but appre­ci­ation of his life and achieve­ments, we report that James Wharram died on Tuesday 14 December at the age of 93. He leaves an unpar­alleled leg­acy in his devel­op­ment of, and voy­aging in, afford­able sea-going craft mod­elled on the Polynesian…

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Loft Floor launch party

Loft Floor launch party

We had a great turnout at arts venue The Cornish Bank in Falmouth on Saturday, to cel­eb­rate the launch of Christian Topf’s book From the Loft Floor to the Sea, on the build­ing of the Falmouth pilot cut­ter Pellew. Taking pic­tures was not our pri­or­ity, but here are…

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To readers in North America, Australia, and New Zealand

We’re sorry that inter­na­tion­al ship­ping, since Covid, has become so expens­ive. But there is some good news: Some of our books are stocked by WoodenBoat and Small Craft Advisor in the US, and most of them are held by our new dis­trib­ut­ors in Australia and New Zealand,…

read more
James Wharram 1928–2021

James Wharram 1928–2021

With sad­ness, but appre­ci­ation of his life and achieve­ments, we report that James Wharram died on Tuesday 14 December at the age of 93. He leaves an unpar­alleled leg­acy in his devel­op­ment of, and voy­aging in, afford­able sea-going craft mod­elled on the Polynesian…

read more
Loft Floor launch party

Loft Floor launch party

We had a great turnout at arts venue The Cornish Bank in Falmouth on Saturday, to cel­eb­rate the launch of Christian Topf’s book From the Loft Floor to the Sea, on the build­ing of the Falmouth pilot cut­ter Pellew. Taking pic­tures was not our pri­or­ity, but here are…

read more