Tag Archives: George Holmes

George Holmes’ legendary Eel comes out of the shed

Eel 1

The Eel, designed and owned by Humber Yawl Club stalwart, yacht designer, adventurer and artist George Holmes, is a celebrity among boats and has just emerged from boat builder Alan Staley’s shed by the side of Faversham Creek.

She’s looking fabulous, it has to be said, and so I took these shots with my phone. I ran into a friend in the shops who had just done the same thing, and we were all amused when the proprieter accused us of being boat paparazzi. Well, if we are… I hope nobody minds!

There’s some relevant stuff to read at the Albert Strange Association website, and a little more at the Lodestar Books site. And Alan Staley also has a website.

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BBA students build strip-planked Humber yawl to George Holmes’ Cassy design

 

Photos by Jenny Steer and Andy Blundy

Boat Building Academy student Derek Thompson built a strip-planked George Holmes-designed Humber yawl with help from fellow students Christian Skeels and Ryan Johnson.

On retiring, Derek and his wife moved to live by the sea at Seaton, Devon. He previously worked as an IT engineer and as a ski instructor, and had lived variously at Barrow in Furness, where he grew up, Australia, USA, and Hemel Hempstead.

Holmes’ Cassy was originally drawn up in 1883, and Derek’s aim was to recreate it using modern building methods, and the boat he built, named Mikassy, is sheathed with glass cloth and epoxy resin, and planked in Western red cedar with yellow cedar decking.

The name Mikassy is a nod to the original Holmes design called Cassy, and also to Mikasa Street in Barrow-in-Furness, where Derek was born.

Rather than a single centre-plate, Mikassy has two bilge plates in order to allow Derek to sleep on board if he wishes. To see a photo diary of Mikassy’s build, click here.

Christian, who also worked on the pilchard larker built during the same course, is a member of the Humber Yawl Club, which has a number of boats similar to Mikassy.

On of the youngest students on the course last year, Ryan came to the BBA after working in the motor industry in ; after working on Mikassy and several other student boats, he finally built his own West Greenland kayak – of which more in a later post!

Fabulous new publications from Lodestar Books include classic yachting authors Conor O’Brien, H Alker Tripp, H Lewis Jones and WE Sinclair

Inshore of the Goodwins sample

Shoalwater and Fairway - H Alker Tripp - Christmas gifts from Lodestar Books Swin, Swale and Swatchway  - H Lewis Jones - Christmas gifts from Lodestar Books On Going to Sea in Yachts - Conor O'Brien - Christmas gifts from Lodestar Books Cruises of the Joan - W E Sinclair - Christmas gifts from Lodestar Books

I have good news as we come up to the Christmas season – Dick Wynne’s wonderful Lodestar Books is republishing four more sailing classics that will make great gifts for the sailing man or woman:

  • Shoalwater and Fairway – The casual explorations of a sailing main in the shoal seas and tidal waters of Essex and Kent by H Alker Tripp, illustrated by the author. Click on a the image at the top of this post for a sample chapter
  • Swin, Swale and Swatchway by H Lewis Jones – Jones pre-dates both Maurice Griffiths and Francis B Cooke, and gives us the the Thames Estuary and the boats and characters inhabiting it in late Victorian times. His charming adventures and human encounters have an engaging immediacy, and are enhanced by the author’s many photographs, which provide a priceless glimpse of a time long gone
  • Cruises of the Joan by WE Sinclair – the cruises of an engineless, 22-ft Falmouth quay punt in the 1920s, first around Britain, then to Madeira and to the Baltic, and finally across the North Atlantic to Iceland and Greenland. Sinclair’s dry, phlegmatic humour and observation makes his accounts highly entertaining account – and one we might not have today if luck had not played its part
  • On Going to Sea in YachtsConor O’Brien’s distilled experience in selecting, equipping and handling sailing craft from the smallest beach cruiser to the ocean-going yacht. The author’s choice of topics and anecdotes, all related in a characteristically down-to-earth manner, makes valuable and engaging reading. His many clear drawings leave us in no doubt as to the practical details, which are born of his own experience over many years and many thousands of sea miles

If these aren’t quite what’s needed, don’t forget Lodestar’s previous publications, Francis B Cooke’s classic Cruising Hints – The Traditional Yachtsman’s Compendium and the outstanding Holmes of the Humber collection of material by and about legendary canoe yawl sailor, boat designer, artist  Humber Estuary figure, George Holmes. Get your great boating reading here!