The Wooden Boat Gathering on Lake Windermere

7th and 8th May 2022 – Lake Windermere The journey from my boat in Oban to London is rather long and tedious so I often take a break halfway. It just happened that I had finished working on the boat a few days early and there was a “Wooden Boat Gathering” taking place over the […]

Sumara is afloat!

30th April 2022 – Dunstaffnage 42 days to go before the Scoresby Sund Expedition starts! That was certainly a very good move to ask for my planned launch to be brought forward by a few days. I was really lucky that the yard staff were up for it as they get pretty busy at this […]


Dunstaffnage 22nd April 2022 50 days to go before the Scoresby Sund Expedition Starts! It happened a few days later than planned, but Sumara went smoothly into the shed yesterday afternoon, so I am now busy varnishing. I managed to prep virtually everything whilst she was outside occasionally in the rain so no time has […]

The Preparation Begins!

11th April 2022 – Dunstaffnage I’ve arrived at the boat ready for a month’s solid work to get her expedition ready for the big Greenland trip. It was 20:00 by the time I got here after a very pleasant stop over at Ray and Jackie’s farmhouse in Yorkshire. I managed to find just enough space […]

Storm Proofing Sumara

Friday 18th February 2022 – London With Storm Eunice approaching, I am picking up on a slight sense of panic amongst many boat owners. Will their covers be OK? Will their boats be OK with those wooden props and wedges especially with the mast up. Will their mooring lines chafe through? etc With Sumara currently […]

Varnishing – with traditional varnish

The most common comment I receive when people walk past the fully varnished Sumara is: “Looks great but, wow, what a lot of work!” It does indeed involve a fair bit of work to keep a varnished yacht looking nice and shiny but probably not nearly as much as many people imagine. The trick is […]

It’s a total cover up!

Probably the best investment I ever made for Sumara was her heavy canvas cover. It was Coombes Boatyard in Bosham who organised my first one which was basically a rectangle of heavy tarpaulin canvas with eyelets around the edges. It lasted over 20 years. My new one is marginally shaped at the bow but overwise […]

A Road Trip to the River Fal!

Jo, Sim and their daughter Lotte had been living on board their Inchcape Motor Sailer in South Dock Marina, London, for a year or so when they decided it was time for a change. While they were there we became good friends, with Jo and Lotte often helping helping out in Arthur Beale’s chandlery when […]

The Annual Maintenance 2021

Part 1 I’m now half-way through my allotted time in Scotland to carry out the annual chores, or maybe joys, depending on how things are working out. Firstly, I must admit, it is a bit of a pain having the boat 500 miles from home. You can’t just decide “Oh it looks like a nice […]

South Dock Marina Boat Yard Under Threat

2nd September 2015 It seems that something fishy is going on. It looks like it will threaten the operation of the Boat Yard at South Dock Marina. Southwark Council held a “consultation” meeting at Canada Water Library at the end of July. The problem was that they omitted to tell us about the “consultation” meeting. They […]