A Spartina on the English East coast

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Watch this beautiful Phil Bolger-designed Spartina with its convenient balanced boomed foresail sailing on an East coast river, captured here by the excellent Dylan Winter.

His collection of YouTube videos as he sails anti-clockwise around the UK is well worth watching for the boats, for the sailing and for his entertaining and trenchant commentary, with which I largely agree – although you may not. Take a look and see what you think!

The Spartina is a powerful example of the range of Bolger’s work. It’s a serious mistake to think that he only drew utilitarian sailing and motoring boxes: the man had a real designer’s eye, and used it in drawing up many of his output of many hundreds of designs. I’ve been collecting his books for years, but his published material is available to all in the UK via the national library system in the UK. It’s interesting, illuminating stuff that more people should know about.

There are very few Bolger boats in British waters, which makes this Spartina a particularly striking find.

Dylan was very taken with this boat, and its foresail in particular.

There’s a lot to be said for a foresail like this on a small boat where there’s not much danger of anyone being hurt by the boom. On a boat with a real foredeck on which someone might have to stand, however, it could be a different story.

Of course, I’m not remotely influenced by the massive compliment in the information that goes with this video!

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3 thoughts on “A Spartina on the English East coast”

  1. Gavin,

    A real beauty and so graceful! My first fixed keel boat (a Picaroon) had a jib boom, and what a godsend for a beginner… I wouldn't have known what to do with that rag up forward anyway, but it took care of itself. Of course a skipper could take a flogging while trying to raise or lower the jib ( I knew nothing of running my halyards aft).

    Now that I'm much older, I'm reconsidering the jib boom. Saves a lot of fumbling with the sheets!

  2. I agree with all you say Gav. Like you Phil Bolger has always been a hero of mine and I have all his many books. The Spartina (Boats With An Open Mind Chapter 22 page 106) is defiantly on my 'Bucket List', I can't think of a better way of enjoying the pure pleasure of sailing and with the ease of this rig being able to enjoy it for a very long time. And as for Dylan, words can't express the pleasure he brings to an East Coast boy now living in New Zealand. I had a memorable day with him on the Colne in June – Happy Days.

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