Lodestar regulars will know that we have a soft spot for the Victorian/Edwardian ‘Rennaissance Man’ Albert Strange — Yacht Designer, Sailor, Writer, Raconteur and not least Marine Artist. The Albert Strange Association, founded in 1978, exists to preserve his memory and promote interest in the world of traditional sail which he represents: Boat design and construction, sailing, marine art and maritime culture generally. Their website is at albertstrange.org, but the real star in their firmament is the monthly illustrated email newsletter put out by Thad Danielson (based in deepest Massachusetts) and John Hobson (in Scarborough, Yorkshire). This has been running for a few years now and has engendered a wonderful sense of community among its readers. It’s entirely free of charge and you can subscribe to it on the ASA homepage, where you will also find an archive of past issues.
Of course the ASA invites new members, and you can become one for the paltry sum of £15 annually. This will support their modest outgoings and the occasional major project — most notably TALLY HO: The ASA stepped in some years ago to take ownership of her when she was to be broken up in Oregon, and took care of her for some years until the indefatigable Leo Goolden stepped up to rebuild her. The Association funded her transport north to Sequim in Washington state, and you can see Leo’s extraordinary progress, with much help, on the videos at his website. You can join the ASA here.
As an ASA member you’ll receive the their excellent annual Yearbook, also edited by John Hobson, pictured below. It’s designed and laid out for the ASA free of charge by Lodestar Books.
For a good introduction to Albert Strange you could do a lot worse than Albert Strange, Yacht Designer and Artist, by John Leather with members of the ASA. Lodestar’s recent revised edition improves on the 1990s original with facsimiles of Strange’s pre-WW-I illustrated Yachting Monthly yarns, photos of current Albert Strange-designed yachts, and a comprehensive catalogue of all known designs and boats built to them.
Lodestar Books’ company vehicle is the Albert Strange Emerald, built 1937 to the design of Cherub III, which he drew for his own use in 1910 and regarded as his ideal small yacht. Emerald lives at Woodbridge on the east coast of England. She’s third from left in the gaggle of Strange boats on the river Deben, at the head of this page, We were in mid-tack, hence the shivering headsails. Here she is in all her glory on the Clyde a few years ago: