I want to sail a proa on a warm sea…

[ad name=”intheboatshed-post”]

Gary Dierking sailing proa

Here I sit in chilly, laid-up England, and for a few minutes I watch YouTube clips like this of Gary Dierking sailing a proa in the warm, far-off antipodes. Would some kind soul please send me there right now? I could write a very nice review, or whatever might be required to persuade someone to pay my fare!

Of course, Amazon has Gary Dierking’s latest book on sale.

In the meantime, don’t forget to buy my book for your favourite budding boatbuilder. Now there are no Wiis left to buy anywhere in the country, my little book must be in with a chance to be the present of the year. Have I mention that four purchasers over at the www.amazon.com site have given it five-star reviews? No? Well I have now!

For more from Gary, go to his website http://gary.dierking.net.

Want to share this with a friend? Use the Share this link below.

Windward-sailing Barbary pirates


Xebec pirate ship

!!This post now with added singing – see the bottom of this post!!Â

My canoe sailing and building pal Jim van den Bos sent me this link from The Times newspaper yesterday:

Here’s the TS Pelican’s website, which tells the story of her interesting rig; see also this article by Philip Goode, the designer involved in the TS Pelican project: http://www.weatherlysquareriggers.com

The whole thing led me to speculate how Continue reading “Windward-sailing Barbary pirates”

A sailor for all seasons


Charles Stock is a national treasure to those of us who sail around the coasts of the UK, particularly those of us on a small budget.

Stock, you see, has sailed over 70,000 nautical miles in Shoal Waters, a little gaff-rigged 16-ft centreboarder he built in 1963 using a hull designed by Uffa Fox and hot-moulded by Fairey – and all without an engine.

Like the good farm manager he used to be, through it all he has kept a meticulous log of his voyaging and his costs, and written one of the best and most endearing manuals of small-boat cruising that I know: Sailing Just for Fun. This book is simply bursting with good advice and encouragement for owners of small sailing boats, and could not have been written with more authority. From the first page you know that Stock has been there and done it, and knows exactly what he’s talking about – 70,000 nautical miles in a small boat like Shoal Waters adds up to more days sailing than most people could pack into several lifetimes.

It probably goes without saying that in his home waters on the Essex coast he long ago became a legend for sailing almost all year round, often in conditions that send other, much larger boats scurrying home.

For Charles Stock’s website:



Shoal Waters