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Nick Smith-built half-decked motor launch afloat

This is the charming 16ft Nick Smith-built clinker-planked half-decker Isla afloat, I think in Scotland.

She has basic camping accommodation for overnight or the weekend, with a double bunk, storage and a small cooker, and I have a feeling a boat might appeal to quite a lot of folks…

Nick trained in Salcombe as a traditional boat builder in the 1970s. To learn more or to contact him, check his website. For more on Nick’s boats, click here.

Mines and munitions around our coast

Mine map

What a bloody mess war leaves, in every imaginable way. This mine map – it shows a few other things as well – highlights some things most UK boat users don’t have to think about too much today, but it doesn’t take much thought to realise some of this stuff must still be there…

Take a look at the maps for your UK sailing area.

That research ship… Why not name it after a sailing explorer and author?

HW Tilman collected edition

Just about anyone considering the question of what HM Government’s new polar research ship to be launched in 2019 should be named must have thought first that there must be something better than Boaty McBoatface, and second that there are a lot of comedians around…

Well we might have known that, I guesss, just from watching online coverage of Parliament…

Of course there are better choices. There is a move afoot calling for the ship to be named after HW  (Bill) Tilman, accomplished high latitude sailor and explorer, mountaineer, war hero  of both The Great War and World War II, and also a popular author.

He was a strange and complex character – I tend to think of him as an unreconstructed Edwardian gent who should have grown out of his attitude to women – but his achievements are not in any doubt. Read about him here and  see his collected works published jointly by our friends at Lodestar Books and Verterbrate Publishing. Volumes 5 and 6 of the collection are now in press.

The voting website and the voting option for HW Tilman are now working again, so get please get voting – whoever your chosen polar explorer might be.


Old boats, traditional boats, boat building, restoration, the sea and the North Kent Coast – Gavin Atkin's weblog