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.
A quiet sense of achievement
Spring 2009: Constance is just back from her first Old Gaffers event, the annual East Coast Race weekend at Brightlingsea, where she mixed it with craft large and small, and attracted much admiration for both her looks and speed, praise which rightly belongs to her...
This was living, at its best
Around the turn of the twentieth century the Humber Yawl Club exerted a national, and international, influence in the world of cruising under sail which completely belied the parochial horizon its name suggests. George Holmes (1861–1940) was for decades the leading...
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...
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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...
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...