All posts by Gavin Atkin

A new canoe yawl designed by Albert Strange

I was very pleased to receive this email from Dick Wynne today:

“I just came across your excellent blog while winding down in the office for Christmas. You might be interested in my boat Constance, launched this July.

“She’s to the Albert Strange design Wenda of 1899, and was built by Fabian Bush at Rowhedge, near Colchester, from clinker larch on oak & elm, spruce spars and a ply deck. Sails are by Steve Hall of North Sea Sails.

“Although she’s a Victorian design I think she makes a very practical little day-sailer-coastal cruiser, even if she is a little cosy inside for some. I’m no expert but am told she is a good performer, which I guess her combination of slimness and sail area ensures. She is certainly a pleasure to sail. She lives on a mooring at Walton, but is now ashore there for
some more fitting out.”

My thanks go to Dick for an uplifting email in the desperate days before Christmas: a little flattery is always welcome, and Constance is a delight for anyone who, like me, has a weakness for canoe yawls.

If any other readers would like to send us photos and notes about their boats, please mail them in and I will be very happy to include what I can.

Boatbuilder Fabian Bush’s website is here:

By the way, there’s an Albert Strange Association who have an interesting, not to say tantalising website:

More photos of Constance in build and on the water can be found here:





A catalogue drops through the door sets me thinking about the summer

The Martham Boatbuilding & Development Catalogue dropped through my letterbox yesterday morning. I always enjoy it – I love the photos of the old-style Broads sailing and motor cruisers they hire, and I also like their keen hire prices! On this occasion, however, I was particularly pleased to see the Martham catalogue, as it performed the small miracle of taking my mind off the pain of an earlier tooth extraction. I was very grateful.

An interesting feature of the Martham yard is that it has a large indoor area that the company makes available for DIY boatbuilding and restoration. They’re happy to offer customers their advice when it’s sought, and they’ve got a sail-loft to boot – very useful if you happen to live in the area:

Another favourite is the Hunter’s Yard catalogue:

Both companies produce catalogues that have better images than the ones they put on their websites. Still, even in the absence of a 1024-pixel wide shot you’ll quickly get the idea: most of these boats have been around for decades, and they have all the old-fashioned style one could ask for. Over time, I’ll put up some of my own photos. In the meantime, take a peek at these images I’ve found around the web:

Nice aerial shots of the Broads:

Some excellent shots of wherries: