Stirling & Son take a clinker-built 14ft sailing dinghy to the Southampton Boat Show

Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull (1) Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull

Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull  Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull  Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull

Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull  Stirling & Son Sailing Dinghy Hull

This 14ft clinker-built sailing dinghy close to the main exit (and entrance) at the Southampton Boat Show will have been quite a relief for eyes suffering from shiny-white GRP-fatigue.

She was built by Stirling & Son, and is of mahogany on oak with copper and bronze fastenings. All fittings are bronze and yellow metal, including the centre-plate. The rigging is three strand buff polyester, and the sail is in Hayward’s Clipper canvas with tanned stitching and hand-sewn leather work. She is also varnished inside and out with Blakes products and has a gold-leaf inlaid cove line.

We were away during the show, but I gather Will Stirling and his small team also took a 12ft rowing dinghy built to the same specification, and were selling sets of plans and five postcards of boat building work that no doubt were taken by the same hands that took the shots above.

Stirling & Son is based in Tavistock, Devon and can be contacted via the website at or by ‘phone on 01822 614259.

Splendid 1898 racer Aoma for sale in New Zealand



Mike Black owner of the 1898 New Zealand classic racer Aoma has asked us to draw attention to the fact that the lovely old boat needs new owners who can restor her back to her old glory.

Built by Logan’s Aoma was one of the champion 30ft Linear Raters (other examples are Heather [renamed Ranee], Sunbeam, Petrel and Culwalla I [renamed Yuelba]), which dominated elite class racing on Sydney Harbour for years.

Constructed for the famous Sydney yachtsman CT Brockhoff, Aoma raced to her first win in her maiden race, and later won the prestigious Gascoigne Cup in 1905.

She has a triple-planked kauri hull, with the gaff rig and bowsprit typical of her era. Her hull is in great condition – it was Dynel sheathed 20 years ago and is still water-tight –

Along the way a few changes have been made; she has been adapted for the cruising life by raising her freeboard by three planks, fitting a 35hp BMW diesel, and adding wheel steering and a new coach-house. Her rudder has also been enlarged.

Aoma needs a new lease of life, maybe from a syndicate who could put the time and funds into her, and Mike is keen to see her restored to something like her original racing condition, so I don’t think he will be looking for a high price. I also gather that as a Logan boat, Aoma is regarded as part of New Zealand’s heritage and must remain in the country in the long term.

There’s more information here, and Mike can be contacted at

Beale Park Boat Show preview: Stanley & Thomas, Thames boat builders and oar makers

Stanley & Thomas stand Beale 2010

The Stanley & Thomas stand at the Beale Park Boat Show will represent four different business lines based at a boatyard on the River Thames at Windsor: Stanley & Thomas Boat Builders, Stanley & Thomas Brokerage, and oar manufacturers J Sutton and Xcell.

Established in 1983, the boatbuilding arm began as racing sailing boat builders, but soon gained a reputation for restoration and repairs to classic Thames vessels, and has won many prizes at the Thames Traditional Boat Rally. Following good sales last year the brokerage is now looking to take on new listings.

J Sutton has a long record in producing handcrafted manufacture wooden oars and sculls; its products have won Olympic and world championship gold, silver and bronze medals, and wins at all levels of the Henley Royal Regatta.

The Oxford and Cambridge crews have also used Suttons, but the company has made oars of just about every kind, including 30ft barge oars.

Xcell is also based at the yard and supply a complete range of oars and sculls for competition and leisure, and is the only supplier currently producing looms combining GRP, carbon fibre and Kevlar.

The company has not failed to notice that Dorney Lake, venue for the 2012 Olympic rowing competition, is only two miles from its yard and is looking forward to some good business next year.