A very happy chappie sailing “Eel”
The famous Eel is for sale. She was designed by Albert Strange associate George Holmes in 1896 and built by JA Akasters of Horsea in 1897, and as you can see she’s a beautiful little canoe-stern gaff-rigged Humber yawl and is said to have represented an important turning point in the design of small cruising yachts.
She is planked in larch on English oak with iroko topsides and a Douglas fir main and mizzen.
She’s said to be in gorgeous condition, having been restored while in the hands of her present owner who has spent a total of £66,000 (all the invoices are included in the sale) over the period 2007-2013. the work was done by Alan Staley of Faversham, who has known the boat since 1963,
She comes with a mass of material, including a copy of the book Holmes on the Humber, and printouts about her trips from Classic Boat and Yachting Monthly going back as far as January 1915.
There’s a bit more information at the Albert Strange Association website.
The Eel, designed and owned by Humber Yawl Club stalwart, yacht designer, adventurer and artist George Holmes, is a celebrity among boats and has just emerged from boat builder Alan Staley’s shed by the side of Faversham Creek.
She’s looking fabulous, it has to be said, and so I took these shots with my phone. I ran into a friend in the shops who had just done the same thing, and we were all amused when the proprieter accused us of being boat paparazzi. Well, if we are… I hope nobody minds!
There’s some relevant stuff to read at the Albert Strange Association website, and a little more at the Lodestar Books site. And Alan Staley also has a website.
Jörg Nadler’s museum of ancient fishing gear was one of the treats of the Nordhorn Fest der Kanäle in Germany last weekend – as was his demonstration of hemp rope making – but I’ll post on that later.
The first three photos show samples of eel spears – eel-catching tridents – through centuries. The first photo starts with the Stone Age on the left, while the second photo takes us up to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The spears laid out on the tanned cloth look very much like similar implements I’ve seen from Norfolk. The remainder are of various kinds of nets.
Jörg is a very practical historian, and makes his living fishing by ancient techniques in a German fjord that runs from the Baltic Sea to the town of Schleswig.