Tag Archives: boat design

Percy Blandford, DIY polymath and small boat designer, crosses the bar

Percy Blandford

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.

A lateener from the drawing board of Antonio Dias

Antonio Dias lateener

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.

Save Albert Strange’s Fastnet winner Tally Ho!

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.

Heritage Coast Sailing and Rowing start building their first lapstrake Mackinaw boat

Michigan-based Heritage Coast Sailing and Rowing members are constructing a 23ft lapstrake-built Mackinaw boat, with the aim of encouraging sailing and rowing on Lake Huron using the regional boat type.

The project weblog is here.

The Heritage Coast Sailing and Rowing project draws inspiration from the success of Scottish Coastal Rowing, and plans to organise similar rowing and social events. However, the new organisation has chosen the local Mackinaw boat type designed by Richard Pierce instead of the Iain Oughtred-designed St Ayles skiff favoured by the Scots.

Said to represent a merger of Native American canoe building and European carpentry, Mackinaw boats, were developed in the upper Great Lakes for fishing boats and carrying passengers and general freight.

Construction began in East Tawas on Lake Huron on the 16th April using a kit of cut-out planking and framing materials supplied by Alec Jordan’s Jordan Boats, which also supplies kits for the St Ayles skiffs.

The next BBA student launch day is on the 7th December – and you’re all invited!

Boat Building Academy student launch December 2011 invitation

Intheboatshed.net readers (and everyone else, to be honest!) are warmly invited to the Boat Building Academy’s class of March 2011 student launch at 2pm on the 7th December.

The boats include:

  • 13ft cold-moulded motor launch designed by Andrew Wolstenholme
  • 17ft clinker-built pilchard larker
  • 10ft foam-sandwich composite dinghy
  • 19ft epoxy-ply Caledonian Yawl (designed by Iain Oughtred)
  • 15ft West Greenland kayak
  • 14ft strip planked ‘Cassy’ canoe yawl (designed by George Holmes)
  • 14ft 1in strip-planked catboat
  • 14ft stitch and glue-built speedboat (designed by BBA instructor Mike Broome)
For building photos of these boats, click here.

See more photos from last year’s December launch:

Light Trow Mk 2 plans now available!

Light Trow, plans, plywood boat, Gavin Atkin, boat plan

I’ve been waiting for Water Craft magazine to publish its Grand Designs series story on the Light Trow before releasing the Mk 2 plans – they’ve also been publishing a two part article by small boat adventurer Ben Crawshaw about his adventures in the Mark 1 boat.

But now the big day is almost upon us, it’s at last time to let them loose on the public. Download them now – click here for the zip file of drawings etc. There are plans for making a model here.

For more on the Light Trow including Ben’s exploits and the origins of the design, click here, scroll down and go back through the  posts.

Will Stirling draws boatbuilding plans for a gentleman’s cutter of 1880


Gentleman’s cutter Integrity in the style of an 1880 cruiser-racer, beautifully drawn by Will Stirling. Click on the thumbnails for a bigger image

Here’s a lovely piece of work: a set of drawings by Will Stirling for a forthcoming project to be built by Stirling & Son.  She’s a 43ft gentleman’s cutter of the period around 1880 drawn with careful reference to craft of that era including Nicholson’s Marigold, Beavor-Webb’s Partridge, GLWatson’s Vanduara, Dixon Kemp’s Zoraida and Fife’s Bloodhound. A cruising-racer, she can set 2,000 square feet of canvas in fine weather, yet Will says she will snug down to trysail and storm jib in poor conditions.

Click on the thumbnails above to see the lines and boatbuilding details more clearly. As you do, it’s worth reflecting that thay have been created without the aid of computer-aided drafting software – Will completed the whole drafting job the traditional and laborious way using ships curves and calculations. I have no doubt that her carvel-built wooden hull will be equally historically accurate from stem to stern.

Many thanks for this Will! I think Integrity is bound to attract some serious attention over the coming months, and I’m delighted to be able to give the boating world this preview.

Contact Will at http://www.stirlingandson.co.uk, tel 01822 614 259.