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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Travels with Tilman

Travels with Tilman

Bob Comlay sailed with H W Tilman to Greenland – twice – while still in his teens and formed an enduring friendship with 'the Skipper' which lasted until Tilman's loss at sea in 1977. Bob was invaluable in pulling together the new forewords and afterwords to our...

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That unique engagement

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For most of my life my sailing was of the armchair kind, and in the mid-1970s much of it was in the delightful company of Ken Duxbury, a writer whose light touch belies the skill and resourcefulness which underpinned the voyages made by him and his wife B. in their...

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A legacy of riches

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When barely sixteen I spent two months with my slightly younger brother Dave hitch-hiking, and often rough sleeping, around Scotland watching birds. We went as far north as the Shetland isle Fetlar to see the snowy owls which bred there, and managed to cadge an...

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Tom Cunliffe writes:For fifty glorious years from the time of the 1861 Pilotage Act until the Great War nailed down the coffin lid on commercial sail, the Bristol Channel was a free-for-all for competitive piloting. This great funnel of tide-swept water stood wide...

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