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: .

Our first half-million hits

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Thames Barges

Thames barges on the Blackwater – one of the first photos
to appear at

It feels a little funny when I think of it, but some time in the next two or three days in the will rack up its first half million hits.

Those with long memories will recall that this weblog began in a very small way at the end of 2006, and benefited early on from the support of various weblogs and online magazines, most notably Chuck Leinweber’s Duckworks Magazine and Tim Shaw’s Chineblog.

Ben Crawshaw’s wonderful The Invisible Workshop followed as did Chris Partridge’s Rowing for Pleasure, and so did a host more I won’t mention just now because if I do this post will become too huge for words.

We’re now all part of a community of interconnecting weblogs and online magazines, and I’m grateful to all of them both for their assistance in helping readers find their way here, and for the entertainment and interest they have given us in our household. If you come to this site and happen to land on this post, therefore, I’d like to suggest you take a little time to explore the sites and weblogs, as well as the rest of the blogroll.

But I have another request: please send me pictures and stories that you’d like to share! We’re particularly interested in old boats, traditionally built boats whether old or new, in boats that bear the influences of the past, in the history and culture of boating, in influential individuals and in alternative ways of enjoying boating rooted in the past. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a proud owner or not, or a boat builder or other boat related craftsman, or even if you simply have something interesting to sell. And the occasional story about a boat-related shed doesn’t go amiss either!

Finally, I’d like to pay tribute to my family and wife Julie, who has shown immense understanding and enthusiasm over a long period. I know that I’ve been very lucky to have their support and I hope they feel the result justifies the effort and time that goes into the project.

Reach me either at or by using the contact page, which you can get to using the page tab above the title line.

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Sea language, and why you shouldn’t believe everything a parrot may tell you

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‘Sea language does not necessarily mean bad language despite the testimony of sailors’ parrots.’

Sea-Lore by Stanley Rogers is a handsome little book full of sweet images like this one, and includes this entertaining sample chapter about the traditional sailor’s vocabulary. You might find a copy via ABE Books.

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