An update on the OGA’s 50th anniversary round Britain trip

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Old Gaffers in action. I hope they won’t mind me saying that…

The latest bulletin from the Old Gaffers Round Britain Challenge 10 UK and seven Dutch boats under way are now scattered along the south coast with the largest boat, pilot cutter Annabel J, the furthest west.

Annabel J has an AIS transponder so she can be tracked via live ships tracking sites such as – the other boats can be followed via the various blogs via links on the OGA’s special website, where a new link combines data on the position of the boats from all available sources.

Earlier the boats attended a party and a parade of sail in Southampton, and had to delay for gales at Plymouth.

The OGA’s new historical travelogue website is following the progress of the fleet and illustrating its progress with fascinating stories from old accounts and images of the areas they pass.

Also check out the OGA remarkable website telling stories of the sea and our coasts: For example, here’s Daniel Defoe writing pretty scathingly about Kent’s biggest South Coast port: Dover: freight, mail and mackerel


An American in Essex and Suffolk – Thad Danielson hangs out with the Strangers and the OGA


US boat builder Thad Danielson of Redd’s Pond Boatworks fame came to the UK this summer to join a meet of the Albert Strange Association and to attend an Old Gaffer’s Association for a rally – and he took lots of photos.

Read his account and see his photos here. You’ll be glad you did – particularly if you don’t know the coast of Essex and Suffolk

A beautiful model of a ring-netter

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Jay Cresswell’s model of Ribhinn Donn I, and (bottom right) Antonia & Ruaraidh

This stunning model of a ring netter has been made by Jay Cresswell, an ex-trawler skipper, long-standing Old Gaffers Association member and authority on marine history who has for many years lived near Aberdeen.

He writes:

‘You might like to see the attached. I’ve nearly completed a 3/4in to 1ft model of the 54ft Alex Noble & Sons-built ring netter Ribhinn Donn I. (Her sister is Silver Quest, which is currently sitting in the mud at Penryn down by Falmouth.)

‘I still have to complete rigging details, wheelhouse interior and other bits and pieces such as semi-balancing edge to rudder. The bottom is quite literally anti-fouled. The model is built from original yard drawings for these two boats.

‘This is the second ringer I’ve tackled, the other being a Weatherhead & Blackie 56-footer to same scale named Antonia & Ruaraidh after my two oldest children. (See above.) The original boat in this case is the Catherine Anne, which was chopped up a few years ago in one of the UK fishing vessel decommissioning rounds.

‘I hope you like the images. It’s been a year’s worth of spare time. There are no metal fastenings in the hull, with all planking dowelled to the frames.

‘Regards, Jay Cresswell, Aberdeen’

I certainly do like them Jay – you’ve created a couple of meticulous models that rival or better many of those seen in museums. I particularly like the way every detail seems to be properly to scale. Many thanks for sending them over.