To Pyefleet with the Albert Strange Association

The Strangers are descending on Pyefleet this weekend, and they’ve put out a pretty wide-ranging invitation: just show up in something interesting – it doesn’t have to be a Strange boat – from HW (around 12.30) on Friday.

I’m hoping to be there, winds and tides permitting (and the weather does look good!). From experience, I can say the boats will be wonderful (including the splendid cutter Hardy), the organisation will be helpful and friendly, there will be a little sailing to do if you want to, and there will be a bring-and-share supper.

I gather there is to be an organised outing to look at the restored smack Pioneer.

You don’t have to be an ASA member to join them – but they do ask that you let them know you’re coming using the contact link on this ASA weblog post.

Whitstable smack Emeline repainted and looking wonderful

Faversham smack Emeline at Hollowshore bows

Faversham smack Emeline in the shed at Hollowshore stern Faversham smack Emeline in the shed at Hollowshore bilges Faversham smack Emeline in the shed at Hollowshore port bow

The Whitstable smack afloat, Emeline has just been repainted and I was lucky enough to take some photos for publication, with kind permission of the owners and the yard.

I guess two of the main points of interest here are her hard bilges, which enable her to sit up on sand and mud, unlike other smacks from further up the coast, and that wonderful finish, which is the talk of those local boaters who have seen it. Part of the secret, I gather, is using paint conditioners – but from what people tell me about how they’ve tried the same thing without success, I’d guess there’s more to know about achieving this kind of result than what kind of additives to mix with the paint.

The story of how this traditionally built wooden boat of 1904 was discovered near Malaga in 1992 and brought back to Kent for be restoration is fascinating, and can be read at the website.


The magnificent Excelsior

Fishing trawler Excelsior all sail set

Sailing trawler Excelsior motoring Sailing trawler Excelsior motoring Sailing trawler Excelsior bows down and bustling on

Magnificent. Bloody marvellous. Splendid. Ordinary, mortal words seem inadequate to describe LT472, a 77ft smack built at Lowestoft in 1921 and named Excelsior.

She’s said to be only fully sea-going sailing vessel in the National Historic Ships Core Collection that is available for the general public to sail. Read all about her here: .