Hanging out with Strangers



The Albert Strange Association’s meet this year was a little depleted in boat numbers, as two Albert Strange boats that had been expected weren’t able to make it on the day – one because it was wind-bound.

But the consolation was that after a generally variable summer the Strangers and their friends who were there enjoyed some classic August sunshine and peaceful weather.

I’d just like to say the Strangers made my pal Richard and I very welcome (we had a glorious sail over from North Kent for the event and greatly enjoyed the sail up to Rowhedge) and it was lovely to be able to celebrate the 90th birthdays of Jamie and Tessa Clay’s Firefly and Russell Read and Dick Wynne’s co-owned Charm on the rafted-up decks of Firefly and Galatea.

It was fascinating also to be able to take a long look at Fabian Bush’s cold-moulded sometimes-gaffer, sometimes Bermudan-rigged Hanser, a lean and fast lifting keel yacht that embodied some interesting ideas when it was built in the 1970s and has had quite a few new ones added (and I guess a few removed) since that time.

John Leather New Blossom small cruiser built and launched at Faversham

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Horatia, built at Faversham to a John  Leather design.
Click on the pictures for larger photos

Bob Telford has kindly passed me these photos of the launch and building of Horatia, Mike Terry’s pretty new boat built at Alan Staley’s yard at Faversham to John Leather’s New Blossom plans. Thanks Bob and congratulations Mike!

She is built from epoxy bonded plywood, sealed with epoxy and traditionally painted.

John Leather, who passed away in 2006, is much missed, not least for his advocacy of old-style boatbuilding and boats through many, many articles and books, and also for his design work. It’s fair to say that his influence has been huge in the traditional boats and boatbuilding world – for a flavour see this notice from the Classic Boat folks.

For more on Leather, read boat builder Jamie Clay’s obituary at the Albert Strange Association website.

Alan Staley can be contacted at 01795 530668, alanstaleyboatbuilds@dsl.pipex.com.

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