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…

A humble background

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 flair.…

A storm at sea

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 binnacle…

A preposterous proposal

A preposterous proposal

Philip Temple’s 1965 account of an out­rageously bold exped­i­tion was pub­lished without fan­fare, without many good pho­to­graphs, and without even the bene­fit of a copy-edit­or; it van­ished without trace. The Sea and The Snow came to our atten­tion a few years ago as we…

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…

Making good looking shapes

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…

Sailing by the stars

Sailing by the stars

Ben Lowings, author of our David Lewis bio­graphy The Dolphin, joined Lewis’s son, accom­plished sail­or Barry Lewis, and Dr Christina Thompson – Editor of Harvard Review and writer on Polynesian sea­far­ing – in a recent BBC World Service Forum programme,…

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Sailing by the stars

Sailing by the stars

Ben Lowings, author of our David Lewis bio­graphy The Dolphin, joined Lewis’s son, accom­plished sail­or Barry Lewis, and Dr Christina Thompson – Editor of Harvard Review and writer on Polynesian sea­far­ing – in a recent BBC World Service Forum programme,…

read more