Category Archives: Small boats

Bill Dowell renovates a clinker dinghy

Finesse sailor Bill Dowell has a very nice weblog about his current project – restoring a small clinker built dinghy. Take a look and wish him luck!

Robert Manry and his extraordinary tale of small boat-big ocean survival

Robert Manry’s amazing West-East Atlantic crossing in a heavily overloaded 13ft 6in boat and his subsequent fame was now so long ago, I feel pretty sure even most sailing types have probably forgotten about his remarkable achievement.

So hats off to Steve Wystrach and colleagues for his efforts to produce a crowd-funded film designed to remind the world and to commemorate the event.

Manry was a sub-editor in his working life, so looking at the project website I was tickled to be reminded that the lone sailor had taken a copy of Strunk’s The Elements of Style with him, presumably to keep him on the straight and narrow as he wrote his log. Or was it to keep him company?

I read and was fascinated by Manry’s book a couple of decades ago, after finding a second hand copy in a shop somewhere. If you’re inspired to read it there are various e-book editions available via the Robert Manry Project site.

My thanks to John Simpson for reminding me about this story.

Old fashioned club sailing – in old fashioned dinghies!

ICWDR 2017_LONGPLAY from drift media on Vimeo.

Jeff Cole writes to say that his small yacht club runs a vintage wooden dinghy regatta on the weekend of Australia Day, and gave me a link to a video of this year’s event. There are a few local notices, a few speeches and a lot of sailing and talking, notably from Sailfish co-designer Jack Caroll, who Jeff says is still sailing at 84 (he thinks that’s his age anyhow).

I like this – it’s club sailing stuff that many of us will recognise.

Jeff adds that the Sailfish is enjoying a revival.