highlights of 2009

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It’s almost impossible to pick out my favourite posts of the year – there are simply too many, and for too many different reasons.

For example, the editor-residents of Towers would have no difficulty picking out the students’ launch at the Boatbuilding Academy in December, but for entirely different reasons we’d equally easily choose the astonishing details of the wherry yacht Hathor, or the various posts on the zulus of the Scottish West Coast, or the review of the lovely new book Holmes of the Humber, or, for that matter, the story of the Iain Oughtred-designed St Ayles skiff and the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project.

And how remiss would we be if we failed to mention Ben Crawshaw’s awesome sailing exploits in his Light Trow, or Dylan Winter’s wonderful Keep Turning Left videos about sailing anti-clockwise around the coasts of Great Britain? I’d like to offer my apologies if I’ve left out your favourites here, but I’m working from memory here – I simply haven’t got the energy required to re-read the 250-or so posts I’ve put up this year.

With the hit-counter below cruising gently towards our millionth, what were readers’ favourite posts? There seems little doubt that the posts that have caught most people’s interest have been about free boat building plans. For example, the post announcing the boatbuilding plans for the Julie skiff 15ft 8in plywood flattie rowing boat has been viewed a whopping 27,647 times. We think it goes to show how powerful is the draw of free plans – but also how effective an advert on this site can be.

A little behind that comes a favourite with model makers and admirers of small Scottish skiffs, A challenge for home boatbuilders: a sweet 10ft clinker-built double-ended skiff, our boatbuilding plans for the sailing version of the 12ft plywood Ella skiff and for the boatbuilding plans for the Sunny 14ft plywood rowing flattie.

Why not let us know what your favourites of the year might have been? We’re very friendly and can be reached at

What will next year bring at It’s impossible to say who will be in touch and what they may send me for publication. I only hope they continue to do so. In the meantime, I can tell you about two projects that are in the works here, the Low -power outboard skiff, and a mark II stitch and glue version of the well tried Light Trow rower-sailer in both its rowing and sailing versions.

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