Celebrated yacht designer Alan Buchanan passes away

Buchanan Owners Association


Sad news from the Buchanan Owners Association

Alan Buchanan, one of the last great yacht designers from the era when yachts were still built the traditional way and looked absolutely gorgeous, has passed away at a great age – by my calculation he would have been 92 or possibly 93.

His glory days were during his time working as a yacht designer at Burnham; many of the successful racers of the the 1950s era were the product of his drawing board. However, he continued to draw boats well into years that for most of us would be retirement or even dotage.

The Buchanan Owners Association website has an excellent article by John Leather about Buchanan’s work – as a memorial it would be difficult to beat, so read it hereClassic Boat’s short announcement is here, and there’s a Wikipedia entry about his Hilbre One Design here.

Percy Blandford – a nice obituary in a national newspaper

Percy Blandford obituary

The Daily Telegraph has this nice obituary for boat and canoe designer and DIY hero Percy Blandford.

‘Percy Blandford, who has died aged 101, was at the heart of the British do-it-yourself boom in the period of austerity that followed the Second World War… his blueprints for home-built craft allowed thousands of enthusiasts, who would otherwise have been unable to afford the experience, to get out on the water.’

My thanks to Blandford fan Chuck Leinweber of Duckworks Magazine for finding this one.

River Tamar fisherman and great character Allen Jewitt passes away

Alan Jewitt obituary Tamar fisherman

Weir Quay Boatyard has published a tribute to River Tamar fisherman Allen Jewitt that can only be called beautiful.

The Tamar has clearly lost one of its characters, and many of his neighbours will miss a treasured friend.

Allen Jewitt, who died suddenly a few days ago at the age of 70, lived on the water for many decades and was the last full-time net fisherman on the river until that business had to be ended in order to sustain stocks. From that time he  caught eels until just last year.

In reading the Weir Quay folks’ obituary, I feel I can almost hear the snap of another link with history being lost forever.

YouTube has a nice documentary in which he talks about his life and demonstrates how he made his living catching eels in the lovely River Tamar, and it’s immediately clear why he was held in such affection by his neighbours on the river.

I particularly like one line that makes me smile in particular: ‘They call these things danbuoys – they must have been named after a man called Dan Boy.’