All posts by Gavin Atkin

A question of puddings and moustaches

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Can anyone help Mike Goodwin, the man who once owned and still loves Blue Moon?

He needs to find out how to make a moustache or pudding for a tugboat, and says that the last man that he knew who had the knowledge has passed away. The pictures show what I’m talking about: the moustache is on the left, and the pudding is on the right.

Mike knows how to make up fenders, he says, but he needs to know how to make a genuine moustache or pudding. Can anyone help? If you can please email me at

Moustache Pudding




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Dove is a 1904 Humber yawl believed to have been built by James Holmes of Hornsea, East Yorkshire, and extensively restored between 1978 and 1992.

Her owners found a corroded metal plate at the aft end of the cockpit with the name Holmes on it, and naturally assumed it referred to George Holmes, the famous artist and Humber yawl designer. However, some years later they found a water-stained Hornsea Mere fishing licence trapped behind a locker. The licence included a half-page advert from a James T Holmes, ‘Boat Builder Hornsea – All types of boats built to order, repairs neatly executed’.
The story of her restoration is well worth reading, particularly if you have a weakness for canoe yawls:

And don’t miss this page describing Holmes’ canoe yawl Cassy:

If you do have such a weakness, another great site to visit is the The Albert Strange Association’s website:

See the comments below for more information from Dove’s owners. 

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More on Blue Moon

Blue Moon

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The original Blue Moon, Thomas Gillmer’s own boat to the design, is now in the collection of the Seattle Center for Wooden Boats.

However, for many years she belonged to my friend Mike Goodwin. Whenever he writes about her, there’s always a hint of regret that lets you know he misses her still. When you see his pictures, you may begin to see why.

Blue Moon was designed by naval architect and author Tom Gillmer for his own use in about 1950, and was built in Norway in 1954.
She’s 23ft on deck, and displaces 9000lbs.

Gillmer based her design on the Falmouth quay punt of the 1880s. These boats, which were 20 to 30 feet long, with a long keel, a low mast, and a long gaff, were built for use as a kind of water taxi, carrying people and goods to and from ships off the port of Falmouth, and were reckoned to be fast and seaworthy.

Center for Wooden Boats (check their boats for sale page, btw, if you like Bill Garden’s more nostalgic-looking boats):

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