Friday, 22 September 2023


A few weeks ago I spotted a new and interesting boat on the river while passing by on a friend's yacht, by coincidence the following day I was rowing Mrs BB down river for a coffee and cake, stopping by the new boat to take some photo's the owner Daniel invited us on board and shared some of the history about the boat.

 Built in Western Australia in the 1950's by the Driscoll brothers to a design by Len Randell, the then young Driscolls having finished the yacht to a high quality apparently didn't have the time or funds to fit out below but sailed the boat to South Africa with very spartan comforts, sleeping in hammocks and cooking on an old paraffin stove.

 The story continues, a Mike Saunders from Rhodesia found Walkabout abandoned near the small island of Bartholomew Dias in Mozambique.  Following a refit, with his wife and four children, he then sailed around the Cape, via South America, the West Indies and the Azores and ended up in Emsworth.

At some stage Walkabout passed onto an accomplished shipwright called Clive, who lived on board and owned Walkabout for some 35 years, before selling to the current owner Daniel.

The quality and construction is evident throughout the boat seen above the solid dodger is a relatively new addition which provides a secure and useful space in the cockpit.

Walkabout had just arrived on the river having been ashore for a substantial refit which included "a lot of painting".

Some photo's sent by Daniel of Walkabout sailing and history

Below in Durban

Monday, 18 September 2023


 On a very fine evening as the summer draws to a close we spotted this beauty in the marina car park

Metallic Champaign paintwork and beige leather interior looks fabulous and especially with the whitewall tyres.  It outshone the much newer Porsche seen partially parked in front

 I don't think I've ever had a car that well turned out and clean not even new ones, we were so impressed we took a group photo.


Steam up or sail?

I posted a picture of this Fowey steam launch recently not giving much thought to it's origin or design only to get a call from friend and boatbuilder Greg to say it looks remarkably like the hull of his Tela dayboat

Apparently the Tela has been in production with other boat builders before Greg bought the moulds and he believes at least a couple were sold as motorboat or steamboat hulls


Friday, 15 September 2023

Perils of Ashlett Creek

Friend Greg sailed to Ashlett Creek, over on the dark side of Southampton Water recently. 

The Flugel seen here at the quay which is only accessible at high water, while the crew made off to the nearby Jolly Sailor pub.

Ashlett is a winding, drying creek and as long as I've been going there not especially well marked. Greg reports a close encounter between center plate and mud, which was a very brief encounter thanks to some assistance from a local passing in a dinghy.

Apparently a great day was had, well worth a visit best to go on a rising tide.

Monday, 11 September 2023

Portsdown Hill

 Took a motorbike ride up the top of Portsdown Hill, a chalk ridge which looks over spectacular views of Portsmouth and Langstone harbours.

Above the view of Portsmouth Harbour with the Solent and the Isle of Wight in the distance.

The creek leading up to Fareham on the right and the peninsular leading down to Gosport and Lee on the Solent at the rear which is the western boarder of the harbour.

 Close up of Portsmouth and the Spinnaker Tower, Port Solent marina in the foreground.

Friday, 8 September 2023

Fowey Rivers

Appreciate this is repetitious but I can't go to Fowey without admiring the Fowey River fleet which create such a colorful spectacle on Wednesday, Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons.

As well as the normal summer weekly racing I like the sound of the Special races to Golant and Polkerris  which end up in the pub at each of these two picture postcard waterside villages. Who says sailing isn't a very good spectator sport?


Tuesday, 5 September 2023

Wanderer Dinghy For Sale

 Wanderer Dinghy  For Sale - £1,100

Good example of this popular Ian Proctor designed boat. Built Anglo Marine – Number 558


Cream hull and deck, grey floorboards.  Good Sails both main and Jib. Jib on roller furling, sheets and halyards in good condition.




Combi road trailer and launching trolley with detachable jockey wheel for launching. Trailer road wheels new in 2022.


Rudder, tiller and center board all in good condition. Mast up cover in good condition. Detachable outboard bracket.




Boat is in all around good condition, stored in garage over winter, currently in commission at Weston SC near Southampton. Ready to sail, good cruising boat.


Email Max at - more pictures and information - also advertised on Apolloduck

A nice cruising dinghy easy to sail easy to keep.

Monday, 4 September 2023


There was a "shout" when we were in Fowey recently, Joseph and I were out rowing  and the first sign was the harbour patrol who stopped by to warn us that the lifeboat was being scrambled and to expect some wash.

Sure enough a few minutes later the lifebat went past, keeping speed down in the harbour it was still kicking up a significant wash.

Once clear of the harbour the engines roared and it took off, the casualty was a small boat that had got into difficulty, fortunately help was on hand and the danger was quickly and safely resolved.


Friday, 1 September 2023

Local Classics

A few classics seen out and about on the Solent over the summer.

Without my glasses when I took this photo I thought it might be West Solent One design, but clearly not, from the sail number it seems to be Uandi a Belfast Lough Class  - Fife design built in 1897.

Between that lovely counter stern and the bowsprit somewhere around 40% of the mooring fees must be taken up just casting a shadow on the water, modern marina charges probably didn't figure highly in Mr Fife's design brief back in those days.

Jolie Brise out on a fine day, dropping the main before heading back up the Hamble

There seems to be quite a few boats around called Volante, this one has the look of an S&S design and looks gorgeous all varnished,  credit to her owner the upkeep must be significant.

The one of the Daring one design racing class on a mooring in Cowes - there's a great video of what it's like to sail these boats in the Solent on the class site.


Monday, 28 August 2023

Cowes waterfront

I never tire of Cowes waterfront, there's so much going on it's always a pleasure to see the easily recognisable icons as you approach, the Royal Yacht Squadron being first and fore most.

A summer visitor, but one which which nicely characterises the history and spirit of Cowes.

Former weekend residence and now the Sir Max Aitken museum the Prospect off the High Street is an old sail makers loft, well worth a visit.

The Island Sailing Club, home to the Around the Island Race and many other local sailing events, had a open air visitors bar for the summer,  great spot to watch all thecomings and goings on the river.

Further upriver past the chain ferry on the East shore East Cowes Sailing Club is tucked away between tow industrial buildings. Nice Cornish Crabber in the fore ground.

Back on the west side and before the chain ferry, Clare Lallow boat builders was established in 1867 and has built so many famous boats over the years.


Friday, 25 August 2023

Forgotten Modern Motoring Classics?

Walking through the local car park when a couple came speeding in on these two Sinclair C5's, they lined up for a photo with the Citroen AMI electric micro car owned by a friend of theirs.

Anyone who's too young or too old to remember the Sinclair, it was introduced in 1985 as a personal electric vehicle. There are some similarities to the AMI which has a top speed of 28MPH,v's the Sinclair's 15MPH, and range AMI 47 miles v's Sinclair 30 miles. 

The AMI is only about 18" longer than the Sinclair but does have the advantage of seating two people and keeping them dry when it rains, which is probably good progress for the near 40 year elapsed time between them and makes the AMI a much more practical transport for UK, although apparently there's no heater (too much capacity drain one supposes).

The Sinclair did have the advantage that it was considered a bicycle so could be driven at 14 years of age.

 The other drawback of the Sinclair was the recumbent driving position, putting the drivers head roughly at car bumper height.

The Sinclairs are collectors items, talking to the owners (who's names I forgot to ask - apologies) they are also active in the local classic car scene driving  V8 powered cars, clearly not sold on the electric alternative quite yet.

Monday, 21 August 2023

Returning home

 Does a summer evening get any better than this?


Friday, 18 August 2023

Classics around Fowey

Some classics spotted around Fowey recently.

 Above and below this gorgeous yawl was visiting from Netherlands, built to an design by Sparkman and Stephens it's immaculately maintained - lovely.

No Fowey classic collection would be complete without at least one Troy class, here Lucy's varnish simmers in the late afternoon sunshine.

Perhaps unexpected, but this is what motor cruisers looked like fifty or more years back. The clinker (ship lap) planking is really well done and brings out the hull lines. The cabin roof has the sort of post war aesthetic which was common before fibre glass took over in the 60's. I remember seeing quite a few similar boats in the Thames back in the day.

Raising steam before a trip up the river, good way and good excuse to spend an hour or so on the mooring, enjoying the sunshine and the surroundings.


Monday, 14 August 2023

Col regs update

And probably stay away from the Portuguese and Spanish Atlantic coast going by the reports of yachts having trouble with Orcas in the past couple of seasons.


Friday, 11 August 2023

The Line

One end of the Fowey Gallants Sailing Club start line is painted on the opposite rocky shoreline

The other is across the harbour in the race office, must save a lot of time each week not having to put start like markers out and retrieve them.


Tuesday, 8 August 2023

Squid ink pizza and barbarian doughnuts

 The problems at World Scout Jamboree have been in the news but I though it might be useful to share what we've heard directly from the attendees.

The first inkling of problems was on Tuesday last week, when Unit 59 leaders announced that they would delay going to the WJS by 24 hours as the camp wasn't ready, but they did arrive the next day on time for the opening ceremony which was a spectacular event for the 40,000+ scouts attending.

 (above Members of Hamble Sea Scouts attending WSJ)

It was on the Friday that further problems started, Scouts were asked to stay in their camp, and most of the WSJ activities were suspended due to the heat. Following day the whole UK contingent announced that they were pulling out of the WSJ camp and going back to hotels in Seoul. We had a tearful call from Joseph who like most of his until were really disappointment to be leaving, not least as they had invited the local Portuguese Scouts over for dinner and a cultural exchange which is one of the central points of WSJ. They were also relieved to be leaving as the heat was a problem, the tents being designed for temperate climate had become uninhabitable ovens, the overall total lack of shade on the site, poor facilities and ferocious insect bites (what else would be expected on reclaimed land on a tropical river delta? ).

The first night at the hotel was difficult they managed to get the girls into rooms 4 to a double, but many of the boys had to "camp out" in the ball room, as compensation they got to use the hotel spa so wasn't all bad. They've now got rooms,  and Sunday night a local football club offered 4000 tickets for those who wanted to see the match plus the Mayor put on bus tours around the city for those who didn't want to see the foottie (Joseph included).

 I've been tracking Typhoons since a couple of weeks prior to the event and Khunan which was moving toward Japan is now heading right for Korea  scheduled to arrive on Thursday when 4" of rain fall is predicted in 24 hours which would have undoubtedly flooded the campsite. The scouts in Seoul will probably have to stay indoors as it passes, but it will be an experience to see a Typhoon from  a safe location. Winds in Seoul are probably going to be 40-50mph which we get frequently at home,

Announced Monday that the remainder of the WSJ camp is now being closed, and the scouts being moved to accommodation.

Overall really disappointing that something all these scouts have trained for, not to mention all the fund raising they did hasn't lived up to expectations. That said traveling half way around the world, being part of the event and meeting and making friends with scouts from around the world and most of all coping with adversity are all good life lessons and apart from the disappointment when he called Saturday, all the reports we get are full of enthusiasm and delight, stories of making friends and people helping each other. The generosity of the Korean people to help has been been really great and hugely appreciated, as is all the work by the UK contingent leaders, arranging accommodation and activities.

And the Squid Ink Pizza and Barbarian Doughnuts? Away from camp cooking the scouts have been trying a wide variety of local food, a black pizza tastes better than perhaps it looks and the doughnuts were a definitely a spelling mistake.

Monday, 7 August 2023


 What it says on the tin.


Friday, 4 August 2023

Cars at the fair

 Another detour from boats, but there were a few interesting vehicles at the recent Sarisbury Fair.

Above looked like a kit car, using Triumph front suspension (can't recall it if it's Spitfire or Herald) but something looked unusual and more authentic. In conversation with the owner it's the wheels, rather than using the familiar modern 13" he had got 15" rims from a TR4/MGA and had them wired to the Spitefire hubs. I have to say it does look right.

 One of the last and probably most immaculate MGF's around, it was built at Longbridge under the Chinese ownership. The paint job doesn't show up in the photo there were metallic/pearl  flecks in the paint - if not quite a "Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamlined Baby"was pretty nice.

Drive the car and dress the part I think it was a 1980 Caddi, the owner was sitting quietly probably needed a rest after thinking about the fuel consumption of that 8 liter monster V8.

One of the local traction engines had a run out from Bursledon Brickworks museum. It's only a couple of miles away but not something that can be rushed, two and a half hours to get steam up and then a very leisurely run as the maximum speed allowed is 12 MPH.

Guessing when you drive one of these you can park wherever you want and not have to worry about someone dinging the bodywork with a carelessly opened door. Interior comfort however didn't appear to have been a major design consideration, probably relatively easy to fix with good access for repairs though.