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’re reissuing Luke’s 2012 account of his life in wooden boats – covering the entire bevy of his earlier pilot cutters – in the spring. We’re keen to set the print run to meet anticipated demand as closely as possible, and to this end we’re taking pre-orders right now. And when it’s gone, it’s gone!
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.
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...
Cruising in Denmark
George Holmes's illustrated and often hand-written cruise accounts frequently appeared in the pages of the Humber Yawl Club Yearbook, and later in The Yachting Monthly. Here is a cruise he made in Denmark in 1894, and wrote up a few years later. He and his companion...
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...
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A storm at sea
The night, moonless and densely clouded, had settled around us with pitchy darkness. One could not see a hand held before the eyes. Rain came down in torrents. Repeatedly it drowned the riding light, until I abandoned the attempt of relighting it. Only the binnacle...
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...