Photos of the Zulu Spindrift


spindrift HERM+FISHERMANS+COTTAGE+2009+068

I’m grateful to Dominic Barnes for sending me these photos of Spindrift, which now belongs to his brother. She must be one of the last remaining Scottish Zulu fishing boats.

She’s now a liveaboard in the Channel Islands, but I gather from Dominic that she is fully seaworthy and has a big Gardner diesel that runs like a sewing machine.

For several more posts on Zulus at, click here.

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Crunch time for the sad clipper ship City of Adelaide – can you help?

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The City of Adelaide again. Photo courtesy of Paula Palmer of
the National Historic Ships

Rather late in the day, I’ve just received news of the last chance to save the other’ last clipper, the City of Adelaide from the Australian group trying to preserve her.

There’s more information on the history of the ship and their campaign and appeal here, and also a gut-wrenching open letter to the people of the UK and our political leaders. It seems unthinkable to let a clipper from the middle of the 19th century go now after surviving so long.

This is the message I’ve received:

‘On the 22nd October, the Scottish Maritime Museum issued a tender for the demolition of the City of Adelaide. Tenders close on Monday 23rd November.

‘We are preparing an offer to submit by the deadline on Monday. Our offer will be based on removing the City of Adelaide whole and thus save her from being permanently lost to future generations.

‘We urgently seek your help to raise an additional A$200,000 to enable us to bid a lower price for our tender submission. This will improve our competitiveness against the cheaper chainsaw and bulldozer options.

‘We already have offers of in-kind support from industry for labour and materials that will be needed in Scotland and Australia but we need more industrial in-kind help. If you are in a heavy engineering industry and believe that you could supply labour, steel and/or equipment for use either in Australia or Scotland then we are most keen for you to contact us This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

‘At this time we would like to acknowledge the support of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (London) commemorating their 150th year 1860-2010, and Aztec Analysis (Adelaide) heavy lift engineers.

‘We do need more support. Would you please consider supporting our cause to save the City of Adelaide clipper through a financial contribution?’

In publicising the Australian claim to rescuing the dear old City of Adelaide, I’m in danger of forgetting another aspect of the story – the fact that there are people in Sunderland, where she was built, who would also dearly love to retrieve her and care for her. In fact, one of that illustrious town’s councillors recently camped on board the old ship to draw attention to her plight. See the BBC’s news story here.

The St Ayles skiff hits the water

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St Ayles skiff 2

St Ayles skiff 1

The St Ayles skiff meets the water for the first time – as usual click on the images for larger shots

The Scottish Coastal Rowing Project’s first St Ayles skiff hit the water for the first time on Sunday, and had her first try-out with a set of borrowed oars.

Builder and key powerhouse behind the project Alec Jordan reports that the Iain Oughtred-designed boat is a joy to row, as she’s stable and fast at the same time. The photos above are courtest of Alec, who must be very proud.

The boat is to be officially launched at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther on Saturday 31 October at 11am. Once the formalities are over there will be a chance to row the boat – if you’d like a go, please contact Alec by email at

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