More excellent video of Grand Banks schooners dory boats and fishermen

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The Lonely Men of the Dories

Jay Cresswell has been in touch to tell us about some more video of the Grand Bankers of Portugal – see Comments in the left-hand column above left.

He’s also been in touch to say that within a few years, there will be as many as three restored four-masted schooners built in the 1930s for use in the Grand Banks fishing grounds.

But to return to the video, the material he has found is marvellous footage of the schooners, their wooden boats and the fishermen themselves – six sections of film titled The Lonely Men of the Dories – the link above goes to section 1, but the rest are linked below. By the way, don’t let the title you see in the Youtube pages worry you – the voiceovers are in English.

The Lonely Men of the Dories part 1

The Lonely Men of the Dories part 2

The Lonely Men of the Dories part 3

The Lonely Men of the Dories part 4

The Lonely Men of the Dories part 5

The Lonely Men of the Dories part 6

Call for pictures and information: the Flying Twelve!

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Flying 10s at the Lancashire Sailing Club long ago

Can anyone help Robert Macdonald please – he has written in to ask for photos and information about built examples of Flying Twelves.

I could only send him links to the posts we’ve had mentioning Flying Tens – see this and this. I should have added that early in’s career I met a pleasant elderly gentleman on a train who had sailed Twelves until recent years but I lost touch with him. The whole thing was too tantalising for words…

Anyway, this is what Robert has to say about his interest:

‘I’ve long been a fan of Uffa Fox. He has a legacy here in Toronto, Ontario where more than fifty Albacores race together every Friday night in the summer. I wish that some of his Flying Fifteens raced here as well!

‘While I was looking at the Uffa Fox website last year I discovered the Flying Twelve, the Flying Fifteen’s little sister. The idea of a sleek little planing keelboat the size of a dinghy got me hooked! I e-mailed Tony Dixon, Uffa’s nephew, and bought a set of Flying Twelve plans, which duly came in the mail. I’m not a boatbuilder and if I do build the Twelve, the project will be in many steps. I’ll probably first try a smaller flat sectioned boat, like a Mirror. If I ever do put a Flying Twelve in the water, it will be a solid and safe, and pretty boat.

‘Tony told me some about the design’s history and I found stuff on the Web (including Uffa’s wonderful story about designing the Fifteen), but there were no photos. Then I came across pictures here on of a Flying Ten at the Beale Park Boat Show; it’s the smallest of the Flying family, 14ft long, and designed for junior sailing. What immediately struck me was that it wasn’t a stubby version of the Fifteen, but slimly beautiful like its big sister. Which showed me what I wanted to see but don’t have a boatbuilder’s eye to see clearly from the plans – it’s clear that the Twelve would be a real pocket version of the Fifteen. So I’m grateful to intheboatshed editor Gavin Atkin for the pictures.

‘If you have a picture of a Flying Twelve and could forward it to Gavin (at to post for me and the world to look at, it would highlight the range of the Flying family of sailboats, and I would be very thankful. The story behind the picture would be just as good!

‘Robert MacDonald’

So… can anyoner out there help? If you can, please use the comment button below, or write to me directly at and I will be delighted to pass the relevant material on to Robert.

Nathan Richie and Jeroes Porters launch a Tirrik at the Boatbuilding Academy

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Nathan Richie and Jeroen Porters built this Iain Oughtred-designed Tirrik at the Boatbuilding Academy and launched it at the big student launch on the 5th December.

Although set up as a rowing boat in these photos, the 16ft 10in Tirrik is Iain O’s take on a Ness boat. Double-ended, glued clinker in mahogany ply, the it has a beam of 5ft 4in, a centreboard and, since leaving the Academy, has been rigged as a sailing boat.

Nathan is going to use it to sail with his family. I gather the Tirrik will be featured in the next edition of Water Craft magazine, btw.

As the final photo shows, the designer called in on the Academy during the build – it was meant to be a brief visit, but he but ended up staying overnight and giving the students an impromptu lecture on boat design with illustrations.

Nathan was previously an IT consultant who owned a chain of clothing shops, but he always wanted to get into the marine industry and has previously earned RYA Yachtmaster and TDI diving certificates. It seems to run in the family, for while Nathan was at the Academy, his son Craig joined the 8-week woodworking skills course. They’re hoping to build a 40ft-ish boat when time and money allows.

Jeroenhas just applied for a job at the North Norwegian Boat Museum. He has also bought the plans for a Francois Vivier le Seil 18, which he plans to start building if – and when – he moves to Norway. His weblog of the course is online – it’s in Dutch but, even if you can’t read, it the photos are worth looking at.