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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A mindful scrutiny

A mindful scrutiny

Gloria Wilson has been writing about, photographing and drawing the North Sea fishing industry for half a century. Of her drawings in particular she writes:In making the drawings, with my own photographs for reference, I have enjoyed a mindful scrutiny of the boats...

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Extreme limit of the credible

Extreme limit of the credible

A correspondent familiar with the first edition of Messing About in Boats wrote to me: a delightful book of real sailing from a man who comes over as being kind, compassionate and considerate. He bought three copies of our new edition as gifts—an example worthy of...

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Too fast for accurate navigation

Too fast for accurate navigation

The year was 1955 and H W Tilman was undertaking his first 'sail to climb' expedition, aiming to cross the Patagonian ice-cap in both directions—starting from the 'other side'. This would necessitate a transit of the Magellan Strait; as Sir Robin Knox-Johnston puts it...

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A legacy of riches

A legacy of riches

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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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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