Share your boatbuilding and restoration stories

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Some recent boatbuilding posts at, including making a moustache, boats built to plans by Iain Oughtred and Tad Roberts, a birch bark canoe and photos from Newlyn. Click on the images above to see them all

Amateurs and professionals If you’ve got a restoration or boatbuilding project you’d like the world to know about, why not send us something about it we can post? We will of course link back to your website or weblog, if you have one, or include contact details if that’s what you’d like. It’s a great way to get a project weblog or new website known to the tens of thousands of visitors who drop in at each month* – and it’s entirely free.

All we need from you are photos and some interesting words – the background to the the project, perhaps a little history about the boat type or the boat itself, something about the interest the boat holds for its owner and builder.

Of course there’s more to boating than boats, and more to the sea than water, and ranges broadly in its boating-related topics. However, the beating heart of it is its interest in old boats, boat restorations, and boatbuilding projects with just a little of the traditional about them – and so that’s what we’d love to hear about from you.

*As of this morning, Statcounter reports that has received 13,596 visitors in the last 30 days. Send us a story at and some of them could be coming your way.

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NMMC photographic exhibition of working Newlyn fishermen

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barrie-gutting-monkfish-on-pz198 Newlyn: Fishing for a Living

Sample images from Newlyn: Fishing for a Living – click on the
thumbnails for much larger images

A dramatic National Maritime Museum Cornwall exhibition by photo journalist Vince Bevan explores the working lives of fishermen at the port of Newlyn, Cornwall, from January 7th.

The images taken from a photo essay titled Newlyn: Fishing for a Living provide an insight into the highs and lows of contemporary fishing life, and echo the work of the Newlyn School artists, who depicted the harsh realities of life in this Cornish port at the end of the 19th century.

‘With rising fuel cost and the restrictive quotas placed on fishermen it seems as though every other day we read about the pressures faced by fishing communities,’ says Bevan. ‘These photographs portray a way of life that is increasingly under threat.’

Newlyn is the largest fishing port in England and has a strong and proud community, supplying livelihoods to many who are fiercely loyal to their profession; however, commercial fishing is still one of the country’s most dangerous industries, and even with modern boats and equipment serious injury and loss of life are common, and vessels are regularly lost.

The exhibition is supported by the Arts Council England.

Spirit of Mystery crew set sail for Australia – but without their underpants

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The crew of the Mounts Bay lugger Spirit Mystery
wave as they set sail for Australia – presumably
before the underpants crisis hit home

West Country sailor and adventurer Pete Goss and the crew of Spirit of Mystery have begun their epic voyage to Australia via the Atlantic and Southern Oceans. Taking advantage of a change in the wind, they slipped lines on Monday evening, waved goodbye to the gathered crowd and set sail after a series of strong westerlies, the wind finally swung around to the north west, giving the little wooden lugger a push on the long journey south and into the Bay of Biscay.

Satellite tracking will allow the rest of us to monitor their progress via Pete’s website at

The news today, however, is that their friend and PR guru Stuart Elford has distributed a news release announcing that the sailing heroes left their most of their underpants in a launderette in Newlyn before they commenced their voyage to Australia via Cape Town.

Flying enthusiast Elford had hoped to drop packs of replacement undergarments to the little ship from his private aeroplane, but has apparently been defeated by the strong winds and poor visibility.

‘By the time the weather clears they will be out of range of light aircraft from the UK,’ he said.

In any case, it’s unclear whether it would be right to use modern technology to deliver a large consignment of underpants to the crew. ‘The crew of the original Mystery would not have had this sort of support, so perhaps it is fitting that we didn’t make the air-drop,’ he added.

So there we have it. Captain Goss and fearless crew of commandos are going down under without their underwear. Thank God they’re British!

I only hope the Sheilas of Australia will throng the dockside for the Mystery’s eventual arrival and show their appreciation by slinging a few pairs of Marks & Spencer’s best across to the blushing and only slightly forgetful crew.

Underpants or not and even in poor weather, at this time of year I’m prepared to bet many of’s UK-based readers will wish they were also sailing south towards the sun. For their sake, I trust this is the worst thing that goes wrong.

I’ve got a bundle of close-up photos taken when we dropped in at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall to share some time, so look out for that if you’re interested in the Spirit of Mystery.

Follow the link for earlier posts on Pete Goss and the Spirit of Mystery.

Spirit of Mystery in less inclement weather – and presumably
better supplied with underwear

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