Category Archives: Sailing boat

Seagull for sale

Ian Standingford has been in touch to say that there’s an Essex-built example of the American-designed Seagull design up for sale on Apollo Duck.

Here’s what he says about it:

‘Hi Gavin,
‘Browsing on “Apollo Duck” I see there is one such for sale.
‘Boy Martin is well known in the Benfleet and Leigh area and seems to be in nice order… I would be tempted to buy her myself but have others to look after!
‘I note she was built by Leslie Warland, whose yard was on Leigh marshes, near the bridge over to Two Tree island.
‘As a lad in the 1960s, I loved to wander around this ramshackle place, which was home to several barges…one I think was called Edith & Hilda, and there was also a Dutchman or two, and many yachts of all descriptions in various stages of decay. No trace remains now. Does anyone else remember it?
‘Best wishes, Ian’
Thanks Ian!

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!

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 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.