Monday 31 May 2021


I can clearly remember walking along the pontoon in Haslar marina and seeing Volante, it was about 25 years ago and my heart stopped, at that time she just struck me as the perfect yacht. She is in fact a 38 foot classic cruiser racer designed and built by Camper & Nicholson of Gosport in 1961


A few years later I did see her up for sale, but we had Angelina our Endurance so I even resisted even the opportunity to have a look over Volante.

Back in those days she was painted white, now stripped back to bare wood which looks like teak planking. She's been in the care of Tim Gilmore formerly of Dolphin Quay until his move to Birdham Pool, for many years and has had an eventful time with mast replacement, substantial repairs to floors and planking, a partial sinking and running aground following engine failure at the harbour entrance. Details on Tim's blog.


Friday 28 May 2021


 Couple of nice dinghies getting ready for a sail on the foreshore at Itchenor on a fine, spring day.

Bit of a contrast between the bright yellow modern-ish, relatively lightweight one and the traditional and heavier Tideway with it's simple lugsail rig.


I'd be equally happy pottering around in either.

Monday 24 May 2021


 A friend of a friend was exhibiting at the recent Ocean Village boat show and I had the opportunity to help take the boat back to it's mooring on the Hamble.

The boat in question is this the Axopar 28 and what a great boat it is. It manages to combine the speed and excitement of a RIB with a level of comfort and protection that makes an extended season in the UK really viable.

I can remember a few exciting RIB rides, hands frozen, teeth chattering, hardly able to keep the rain out of my eyes to see where I was going. What a contrast to be able to navigate from this warm, dry, comfortable wheelhouse with fantastic modern instruments.

Later the Hythe shoreline slips past as we head down Southampton water on what would otherwise be a chilly and dull day.

Opened up to 25 knots, the 300HP engine was purring effortlessly, the ride was very comfortable even when bouncing over the wash from the Ref Funnel ferry.

Just after we arrived at Hamble Point the heavens opened, if it wasn't a pristine show boat we would have just made a cup of tea and watched the squall go past, as it was we investigated all the gadgets, including the forwards and sideways depth, the radar and especially the underwater lights. Must have on my next boat!!

When the sun's out there's this really nice sitting area at the front.


And at the business end lots of usable deck space for working, fishing, lounging, take your pick.

 At 28 feet it's equivalent to a big RIB and in my opinion much more nimble than a similar length cruiser. There's a comfortable double berth and separate head, perfect for a two person weekender, which would probably stretch to two parents plus one child.....

Friday 21 May 2021

Hidden Slipway

 This slipway goes out into Southampton Water between Hamble Point and Netley but is pretty much unused.

Perhaps it's an issue of ownership, the slipway leads off a public road but land on both sides is clearly private and at the top across the road leads to an industrial facility.

 Shame as there is not nearly enough good access to the water locally.

Monday 17 May 2021

Pootling about

 Pootle definition - to move somewhere slowly and with no real purpose

Looks like a perfectly named boat, can't think of anything better than pootling about on a boat like this.

Friday 14 May 2021

The Yacht Tavern

 When you absolutely have to get to that riverside pub that isn't quite as riverside as you hoped, no matter what.

Monday 10 May 2021

Low Water

The Pink ferry causeway at low water spring tide on the Warsash side of the river.



Friday 7 May 2021


There are a few gems to be seen at this time of year preparing for the season and this is certainly one.

Instantly recognisable as a Fife, she is a Clyde 30ft Linear (LR) Class, built for Sir William Corry. 

Originally rigged as a gaff cutter the rig was changed to the current Bermudan sail-plan during the 1920’s.


Monday 3 May 2021


 With things warming up after the too long springtime chills, there are some interesting boats coming to life in our boatyards, one of which is this delightful little double ender Nancy.

Nancy is a Heron designed by H T Rossiter, built by Chas A Purbrook in 1956, with the characteristic raised topsides and small central cabin.

Following up to try and find some more information I discovered she's for sale on brokerage with West Solent Boatbuilders at a very attractive price