Before the Mast – does anyone know of a copy of this film?

Chris Brady and his friends are searching for a copy of this interesting sounding 1972 film.

If you can help, please contact me at and I’ll put you in touch.

Half-decked Nick Smith motor launch for sale

Half-decked launch Isla on her trailer

Nick’s lovely traditional West Country boats don’t come up very often, but his boats are widely admired, and two students at the Boat Building Academy at Lyme Regis have used his plans in building their projects: see Phil Bevan’s recent 18ft motor launch and I’ve found a link to what looks like a very similar boat built in 2021 by Tony-something.

Isla is one of Nick Smith’s 16ft half-decked motor launches. It’s eight years old, but has only had two gentle seasons of use, and is said to be in immaculate condition.

Isla has room inside for two to overnight, and was built at the Nick Smith Boatbuilders workshop at Salcombe. She has a 14 hp Nanni diesel inboard engine, and a cover and trailer are included in the sale.

The vessel is currently lying near Salcombe, on a trailer and undercover. The asking price is £17,500.

Phone Nick at 07827644223; email

Isla sister ship Sauzon afloat

Farewell Topsails – 1937 film about the late era of working West Country topsail schooners

See this sweet 1937 documentary about the last working topsail schooners carrying china clay from Cornwall. It lasts some 8 minutes and comes with a very West Country accordion sound track…