I have heard that Percy Blandford, the century-old legendary designer of boats and canoes for home building and prolific author on huge range of workshop-related topics passed away today.
Good ol’ Mr Blandford. Among many other things he helped to get the post-War leisure boating and DIY boat building boom going, and got lots of people afloat for the first time. He will be much missed, but deserves a rousing cheer to send him off. I’m raising my glass, as you’d expect.
Our post about him written to celebrate his 100th birthday probably tells the story as well as I can – read it here.
This intriguing drawing from the Antonio Dias Design weblog is of a trailer-sailing lateener he’s working up for a customer who intends to sail the boat around the Channel Islands of Southern California. Read all about it here.
I think this very cute little boat has a great deal in common with Mr Dias’ long standing interest in canoe yawls – read all about that here: Boats I’d like to design: canoe yawl. Those who have spent some time dreaming about canoe yawls as I have will be interested to know that the interior is along the lines of L Francis Herresshoff’s canoe yawl design Rozinante.
I must say I felt better when I realised the boat was bound for California – the idea of managing that big yard in a strong wind in the area of the British Channel Islands made me feel a tad queasy. But I guess we should temper that with the knowledge that lateen sails were all the rage among Barbary pirates in the same area of sea just a few centuries ago.
If it worked for those pirates of long ago, perhaps lateen rigged boats could work for us – I’d certainly like to try sailing one some day.
Tally Ho – one of the larger Albert Strange-designed boat and winner of the 1927 Fastnet race. She’s currently lying at Port of Brookings, Oregon
If you’d like to sail a magnificent gaff topsail cutter from the early 20th century, and have the resources to restore her, The Albert Strange Association is definitely looking for you.
The organisation is working to save Tally Ho, at 47ft 6in by 12ft 10in by 7ft 6in and rated at 30 tons, one of the larger boats designed by Albert Strange (1855-1917), a leading artist and boat designer, as well as a writer and sailor.
Tally Ho has a great reputation as ocean sailing boat, having won the 1927 Fastnet Race, and has had various names over the years – readers may have come across her under the name Betty, but she has also been called Alciope, Escape to Paradise and Escape.
See Thad Danielson’s article on the newly created Tally Ho pages of the ASA website here.
The ASA is working hard to find a way forward for Tally Ho. Happily, unlike many older yachts, she still has her shape, thanks to having been strongly built. I think she richly deserves a new lease of life – but then I’m an Albert Strange fan…
The photo below shows Tally Ho in her glory days.