The Dinghy Cruising Association at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show

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The Dinghy Cruising Association at last year’s Beale Park Thames Boat Show

Dinghy Cruising Association member Nick Watt has written to say that his organisation will be at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show.

The DCA is usually in residence at the show, and generally provides a lot of the on-water activity in a range of small craft.

This year, says Nick, the DCA folks will have a stand ashore on which it’s hoping to present member Dave Jennings’ nearly completed Roamer – this is a specialist dinghy cruising design designed by a DCA member, the plans for which are available from the association. To find out more about the Roamer, click here and here. There will also be a pontoon providing moorings for DCA members’ boats.

A key aim of the DCA’s presence at the show is to demonstrate that there are more ways of having fun on the water in small boats than necessarily racing around the marks (hoorah to that, I say), and that a wide variety of small craft (including, hopefully, Alistair Law’s Paradox) can be used for cruising in coastal waters.

Whatever, those who drop in can be sure of a welcome.

Holmes of the Humber explained


Holmes of the Humber new colour

[June 2011 – This book is now available again after selling out less than a year after publication.]

Holmes of the Humber is a new book by long-standing Humber Yawl Club member Tony Watts. But just who was the book’s subject, George Holmes? The publisher’s notes tell the story so well, I repeat them here just as they appear on the fly-leaf:

George Holmes lived from 1861 to 1940 on the northern side of the Humber estuary. He was an avid and accomplished sailor in small craft of his own design, in British waters and in mainland Europe, and his prolific writing and drawing have left us an absorbing and charming record of his cruises, his boats, and the people and places he encountered.

‘In common with his friend and sailing companion Albert Strange, boats were not his regular occupation but were a diversion from his working life. And along with Strange, his name is forever associated with the development of the Canoe-Yawl, now enjoying a renewed popularity. Its sailing qualities make it arguably the best choice of craft for the single- or short-handed coastal and estuary sailor.

‘Holmes of the Humber is a nautical book and a social document. Look within to appreciate the pioneering days of cruising under sail, when enjoyment and fulfilment sprang from personal endeavour and the camaraderie of the group, and were largely independent of the external forces which would control us today.

‘Tony Watts has combined original sources, Holmes’ published output and the recollections of his family, and his own knowledge and experience of the Humber sailing scene to produce this, The Essential George Holmes.’

For more information and sample pages from the Lodestar Books webpages, click here: Holmes of the Humber.

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The Albert Strange Association offers a grand day out, sailing by barge from Maldon

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The Albert Strange Association folks have had a brilliant idea for their annual meet – offering those who are interested the grandest of grand days out.

They’re offering up to 12 interested souls a day’s sailing aboard their own Albert Strange-designed boats, together with sailing and accommodation for a couple of nights aboard the the Thames barge Wyvenhoe – and all for the very reasonable price of £120 a head to cover the barge hire.

It all takes place on the 4-6th September, and for guests it all begins with boarding the Wyvenhoe at Maldon.

Get the information from the Albert Strange Association website.