Tag Archives: Ken Duxbury

The latest issue of the wonderful The Marine Quarterly and two books: Mike Smylie’s Traditional Fishing Boats of Europe and an account of cruising in canoes in the 19th Century

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Novelist Sam Llewellyn’s other project, the unfailingly beautifully edited The Marine Quarterly,  continues to impress, and I’m enjoying the new edition as much as I have each of the previous nine editions. I say it’s essential reading, and that a full set – if one could keep them together – would be an asset when waiting for the tide.

This issue includes an illuminating history of pilots and piloting by Tom Cunliffe, Ken Duxbury’s account of visiting his first Greek island aboard his Drascombe Lugger Lugworm,   and an introduction to the story of pier-head painting by artist and illustrator Claudia Myatt.

In fact, if anything it gives me even greater pleasure because it includes a piece from Ben Crawshaw. Ben, as regular readers may remember, built one of my small boat designs, the Light Trow, and his book Catalan Castaway recounts his remarkable adventures. (See the ad at the top right of this weblog.)

Mike Smylie Traditional Fishing Boats of Europe

I’m also just beginning to read Mike Smylie’s latest book, Traditional Fishing Boats of Europe, which aims to tell the story of how the various types of fishing boats evolved over hundreds of years in line with the catches they were built to chase, the seas and climates in which they must work, and of course the cultural influences involved.

It’s a complicated story and clearly an important project, and I’ll be fascinated to find out just how he can cram all of that information between two covers! No doubt he can, though, because he’s done this kind of thing before and knows what he’s doing…

Those Magnificent Men in Their Roy-Roy Canoes

Jim Parnell’s Those Magnificent Men in Their Roy-Roy Canoes is clearly a must for  anyone interested in the remarkable story of sailing in these little boats.

It’s really a historical record of the adventures of the three New Zealand canoeing Park brothers, George, William  and James, who were active in the late 19th and early 20th Century, and includes material from their logs and from newspaper cuttings, and is written very much in the quite formal, slightly detached style of that era.

Still, the adventures they describe are quite something, and include crossing South Island (including a long portage, naturally) and crossing Cook Strait on a night with no moon. I needn’t mention how dangerous the Southern Ocean can be – but the Parks, particularly George Park, seem to have been indomitable.

Get the Lodestar Books catalogue now – there’s just time to place an order before Christmas

Lodestar Books catalogue

I’m loving the Lodestar Books catalogue – partly because it’s a lovely piece of work, but also because of what it contains.

First of all there are the books Lodestar has already published, including artist Tony Watts’ collection An Eye for a Boat; the H Alker Tripp collection Tripp Under Sail; the Ken Duxbury collection The Lugworm ChroniclesFrancis B Cooke’s superb Cruising Hints; 7th edition; Tony Watts’ magnificent volume Holmes of the Humber; H Lewis Jones’ wonderful Swin, Swale and Swatchway; WE Sinclair’s half-crazy Cruises of the Joan, and Conor O’Brien’s instructive but splenetic On Going to Sea in Yachts.

And then there are the volumes to come in 2013: In Shoal Waters by East Coast small boat sailing guru Charles Stock (February 2013);  Under the Cabin Lamp by Alker Tripp (March 2013); Catalan Castaway by Ben Crawshaw (April 2013); Sheila in the Wind by Adrian Hayter (May 2013); Racing the Seas by Ahto Walter and Tom Olsen (May 2013); Sea-Boats, Oars and Sails by Conor O’Brien (May 2013); and a new book from Will Stirling, Details of Dinghy Building.

Congratulations to Lodestar’s Dick Wynne for establishing such an impressive collection of published in an amazingly short few years!

Alker Tripp trilogy now available from Lodestar Books

The beautiful 1920s Alker Tripp trilogy of books about sailing on the South Coast, coastal Suffolk and the Thames Estuary is now available to order from Lodestar Books. Deliveries will begin in early June.

If you happen to be going to the Beale Park Thames Boat Show on the 8th to 10th June, do drop by the Lodestar stall to have a look, as there’s a good chance they will have arrived.

The books – Solent & the Southern Waters, Suffolk Sea Borders and Shoalwater and Fairway – add up to 550 pages of  writing describing sailing these waters at a time when working sail was still common, and their place in English history.

But more than that, Tripp was a gifted illustrator who filled his books with pen drawings and  miniature monchrome paintings, which in these books are laid out with a between-the-wars art deco sensibility.

To show what I mean, here’s a sample chapter Down on the Blackwater ebb, from Shoalwater and Fairway – though what you can’t see here is the lovely thick creamy paper on which they have been printed.

The books are available singly at £20 each, with all three together priced at £45. To make sure you receive yours click here!

Still on the topic of the wonderful Lodestar catalogue, the FB Cooke compendium Cruising Hints is now available in a compact paperback format – only a few copies of the hardcover edition still remain.

Finally, I gather Lodestar’s reprint of Ken Duxbury’s trilogy The Lugworm Chronicles (Lugworm on the Loose, Lugworm Homeward Bound and Lugworm Island Hopping) is selling strongly having had a great reception right around the world.

I can see why it should sell – I’m mightily impressed by first of the trilogy about sailing through the Greek islands, and I now have no doubt how the reputation of the Drascombe Lugger was sealed.

Ken Duxbury’s Lugworm Drascombe Lugger adventures in print again

Lodestar Books is reprinting three classics of open boat cruising originally published in the 1970s, the Lugworm Chronicles.

Ken Duxbury and his wife B set out on a series of adventures in a Drascombe Lugger named Lugworm some 40 years ago, long before today’s explosion of interest in open boat sailing, and the books he wrote have become hard-to-find classics:

  • Lugworm on the Loose describes how Ken and B quit the rat race and explored the Greek Islands under sail
  • Lugworm Homeward Bound recounts their voyage home from Greece to England
  • Lugworm Island Hopping has Ken and B exploring the Scilly Isles and the Hebrides

For a sample from Lugworm on the Loose, click here.

Lodestar Books proprieter Dick Wynne enjoyed the books when they came out, and when he decided to try to reprint them, he was thrilled to discover that Duxbury still going strong, working as an artist  and enjoying his eighties at home in Cornwall with B.

The author was thrilled at the prospect of his books in print once again, and was able to provide negatives for most of the photographs.

The Lugworm Chronicles are a set of three hardcover volumes adding up to 600 pages, complete with original photographs, and maps and drawings by Duxbury himself. The complete package price is £36, and will be available from mid-April. They can be ordered from the Lodestar website now.

For more from intheboatshed.net about good stuff from Lodestar, click here and follow the ‘older posts’ link.