Category Archives: Sailing boat

Good Little Ship – Peter Willis’s book about Ransome’s boat is out now


Just in time for Christmas, I’d say!

Here’s what publishers Lodestar have to say:

‘Generations of children and their parents have delighted in Arthur Ransome’s series of twelve ‘Swallows and Amazons’ books, but one of them stands out from the rest as being of a different order altogether. We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea is both larger of theme and tighter of plot; it is a rite-of-passage tale quite unlike the others, and in describing the experiences of its protagonist John it illuminates much of Ransome’s own psychology.

‘Good Little Ship is a blend of literary criticism, maritime history and sheer celebration. Peter Willis combines an analysis of a classic of maritime literature (“a book of which Conrad would have been proud” – Hugh Brogan) with the story of the Nancy Blackett, Ransome’s own boat which appears as the Goblin in his story. He describes her life, near-death and restoration, and her renaissance as an ambassador for Ransome and his tales.’

On one point, I can’t agree with Lodestar. I think quite a few people who are neither children or parents have  enjoyed Ransom’s books…

For information, ordering etc, click here!

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Square sails drove small boats before the spinnaker

Before the spinnaker, even small boats sometimes had square sails. Not to mention every duster and teacloth in the house… See examples on the Openboat.au rigs and sails page, with no doubt many more to come. My thanks to designer, boatbuilder and sailmaker Michael Storer for the tip. See his boat plans website and Facebook page.

http://www.openboat.com.au/index.html

 

Willow of Harty, Cygnet with her sails blazing with light… and the Red Sands Fort

Spotted in the Swale this weekend: the Baltic ketch Willow of Harty (sorry, Google couldn’t find much about her online) and the beautiful yawl Cygnet of London, which was built in 1906 Burgoyne brothers of Kingston on Thames.

And a shot of the Red Sands fort as I romped past in a F4 and blazing sunshine. As so often there were nearly no other boats around at this time of year.