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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
That unique engagement

That unique engagement

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 preposterous proposal

A preposterous proposal

Philip Temple's 1965 account of an outrageously bold expedition was published without fanfare, without many good photographs, and without even the benefit of a copy-editor; it vanished without trace. The Sea and The Snow came to our attention a few years ago as we...

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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...

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The rough with the smooth

The rough with the smooth

Bob Comlay is a veteran of two Tilman expeditions to Greenland, and has cajoled many sailors, climbers and writers into contributing forewords and afterwords to our new Collected Edition of Tilman, shedding fresh light on a frequently misunderstood figure:  I...

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Ghost ship of Grytviken

Ghost ship of Grytviken

The Albert Strange Association (bear with me), in which I am heavily implicated, held its Annual General Meeting in Lincoln a few years ago, and our very engaging guest speaker was Dr Robb Robinson, a maritime historian at the University of Hull. His subject was...

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