The ultimate Cooke booke

Bear with me, this is going somewhere relevant to us. Many years ago I first entered the book trade, as an assistant at Foyle’s bookshop in London when it occupied its ancient premises at the top of Charing Cross Road, not the swanky place just down the road it...

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...

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...

A humble background

Like many boys reared on Brit­ish rivers by the sea, David grew up with a nat­ur­al love for boats and sail­ing. In later years he would trans­late this into a busi­ness which would set trends in yacht design and con­struc­tion, but even as a young lad he was show­ing...

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...

Tangaroa

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...