George Holmes’ legendary Eel is for sale

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.

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George Holmes’ legendary Eel comes out of the shed

Eel 1

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.

BBA students build strip-planked Humber yawl to George Holmes’ Cassy design

 

Photos by Jenny Steer and Andy Blundy

Boat Building Academy student Derek Thompson built a strip-planked George Holmes-designed Humber yawl with help from fellow students Christian Skeels and Ryan Johnson.

On retiring, Derek and his wife moved to live by the sea at Seaton, Devon. He previously worked as an IT engineer and as a ski instructor, and had lived variously at Barrow in Furness, where he grew up, Australia, USA, and Hemel Hempstead.

Holmes’ Cassy was originally drawn up in 1883, and Derek’s aim was to recreate it using modern building methods, and the boat he built, named Mikassy, is sheathed with glass cloth and epoxy resin, and planked in Western red cedar with yellow cedar decking.

The name Mikassy is a nod to the original Holmes design called Cassy, and also to Mikasa Street in Barrow-in-Furness, where Derek was born.

Rather than a single centre-plate, Mikassy has two bilge plates in order to allow Derek to sleep on board if he wishes. To see a photo diary of Mikassy’s build, click here.

Christian, who also worked on the pilchard larker built during the same course, is a member of the Humber Yawl Club, which has a number of boats similar to Mikassy.

On of the youngest students on the course last year, Ryan came to the BBA after working in the motor industry in ; after working on Mikassy and several other student boats, he finally built his own West Greenland kayak – of which more in a later post!