New and Neglected Nautical Writing

An invitation I couldn’t resist

An invitation I couldn’t resist

Charlie Stock was a singular sailor, who was for sixty years a part of the scenery on his home waters of the Thames Estuary. In his last book, published posthumously, he describes and handles the local features and hazards meeting the small boat sailor, not only in...

This was living, at its best

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...

Handy with a toolbox

Handy with a toolbox

Martin O'Scannall has enjoyed a love affair of more than forty years with his 1913 gaff cutter Sauntress, beginning with her rebuild and culminating in the glories pictured here. Below is his account of her sojourn in a boatyard at Brentford on the Thames in west...

Like a box of jewels

Like a box of jewels

Someone, somewhere wrote that George Millar was incapable of writing a dull sentence, and never was that more true than in his three books of sailing memoirs. Oyster River, set in the Morbihan in Brittany, and Isabel and the Sea, relating a voyage through the French...

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...

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...

Then three come along…

Then three come along…

We didn't plan it this way, but events conspired to make three blockbusters (by our modest standards) turn up from the printer in one month. All are now in stock and available to order. The big one weighs in at just under two kilogrammes, and it upset our...

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The running sheets are in

The running sheets are in

No, not a sailing expression; this week we received the running sheets for our largest and most visually ambitious production: From the Loft Floor to the Sea. These are a complete set of the printed pages, folded and trimmed, but not bound. At this stage...

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Talking Tilman

Talking 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...

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Then three come along…

Then three come along…

We didn't plan it this way, but events conspired to make three blockbusters (by our modest standards) turn up from the printer in one month. All are now in stock and available to order. The big one weighs in at just under two kilogrammes, and it upset our...

read more
The running sheets are in

The running sheets are in

No, not a sailing expression; this week we received the running sheets for our largest and most visually ambitious production: From the Loft Floor to the Sea. These are a complete set of the printed pages, folded and trimmed, but not bound. At this stage...

read more
Talking Tilman

Talking 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...

read more