time afloat was canoeing on the Grand Union Canal (River
Soar) in Leicester. The boats were similar to the one
above. I remember the pleasure of carting them up and
down a slippery weir in the freezing cold, in the dark.
If you were lucky you might bump into the dead, bloated,
body of a cat.
The thing that really got me into boats was a school
trip to the Norfolk Broads. We were there for a week
camping at night and learning to sail during the day.
The small, local wooden boats were great, and I just
first real boat. Saga, a 22ft teak on oak gaff sloop,
built in 1952. Moored in Yarmouth IOW, this is sometime
in the mid 1970s. These are the only photographs, of
her, I can find.
think this must be the first picture taken of Saga,
with me being taught how to hoist a gaff sail. Sold
after split with my then partner.
Oh! The joy of anti-fouling.
bought Daisy as a stripped out, leaky hull for just
£400. I had to rebuild just about everything.
The mast I made from a tree bought from the Forestry
Commission. The picture above is taken from the Itchen
Bridge as we sailed beneath.
during the Great Storm of 1987, she sank at her mooring.
In actual fact, sinking my have saved her from serious
damage, like that suffered by other boats on the river.
She was surprisingly easy to re-float.
Resurrected and being repaired in my garden, she began
to look even better than before. Eventually sold to
stripped out hull I bought for £400. This time
a Hastings Beach Boat style fishing boat. Amazing
old Yanmar, single cylinder engine. A pig to start,
but would then just keep chugging on. A trip from
Wareham to Poole and back would use about a pounds
worth of red diesel.
spent many pleasant hours, sailing the River Frome
and Poole Harbour.
Disaster struck a few years ago. While bedridden with
flu, we had torrential rain for several days. Polly
filled with rain water and sank on her mooring. This
mooring was on a bend in the river where the flow
had scoured a deep hole. With a soft unstable bank,
we were unable to raise her. There is now another
boat moored above her.
my boat. But, I did work it for a few years. Giving
trips to the "grockles", up and down the river
had a few dinghies in my time. But, this was my favourite,
12ft long, very stable and dry. It must have been good,
it was stolen four times. I got it back three times.