Albert Strange’s Blue Jay falls into the right hands at last

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Albert Strange Blue Jay

Bill Hitchins has big plans for Albert Strange’s Blue Jay,
despite the slight hogging in her sheer

People who care for old boats are a special breed – each one I’ve met has seemed to me to have been a mix of several key ingredients.

Along with a big helping of the romantic, they have to have a large dollop of the perfectionist craftsman about them, they must enjoy getting thoroughly dirty, and they have to be happy to take on large long-term projects that will probably seem less than sensible to most of their family and friends.

In my experience there’s usually also a sense that the boat and its inevitable problems are a kind of cross the traditional boat enthusiast is bound to bear by some law of God. After a talk about what’s going wrong, how it all has to be fixed and how it’s much simpler for owners of plastic boats, the phrase I’ve heard many times is: ‘Well, you’ve got to, haven’t you?’

I hope that Bill Hitchins, who has just bought Albert Strange’s lovely Blue Jay, won’t mind my saying it’s clear from his write up and photographs that he’s got the romance, love of dirty, practical work, craftsmanship and long-term projects bits of the mix in spades. Just take a look at the photos in this post at the Albert Strange Association website, for they show exactly what he’s taking on. Good luck to him and the boat, I say.

I think many readers will want to wish him well by adding a comment at the bottom of his post. Where would all the old boats be if it wasn’t for heroes like Bill? I think we know the answer.

For more on Albert Strange and the Albert Strange Association, follow this link.

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Paintings by Albert Strange and etchings by George Holmes – the charm of the ASA

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George Holmes etching At Wisbeech

George Holmes etching Snippet on Posts Albert Strange painting of trawlers at the Albert Strange Association website Emerald at the Albert Strange Association website

Two charming etchings by George Holmes, trawlers painted by Albert Strange, and Emerald

Editor Dick Wynne has been busy putting some very nice posts up at the Albert Strange Association website. I’m particularly charmed by George Holmes’ etchings, a painting by Albert Strange himself, and the photo of Emerald. And there’s a nice contemporary piece about the development of the canoe stern to read as well. I’d say it was essential reading!

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Book a room in South-East England


A brief escape with Onawind Blue – and some other weblogs

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Onawind Blue goes sailing

Ben Crawshaw’s Invisible Workshop always provides a welcome dose of sanity when it’s needed, and his new post yesterday was no exception. In fact, it was better than ever: as I watched his video on YouTube I could feel the breeze and the water, the roll of the boat and the sense of freedom – until it was all over. Then when I had a chance I played it again, and again… Thanks for letting in a little happiness Ben!

Elsewhere on the Blogroll, we have A Shipwright in Training, in which a lucky psychologist sees the light and trains to be a boatbuilder, the Classic Sailing Club has several kinds of unpredictable fun on the Orwell and elsewhere, and Dale Austin’s Egret gets more and more interesting as his boat built to Commodore Monroe’s legendary design approaches completion.

And don’t miss Roache’s Adventures, which include some historical material, a trip to Woodbridge in company with some gorgeous Strange yachts, and some heavyweight advice to ‘dreamers’.