Web Links

Getting Afloat with Nick Gates Excellent and interesting series of videos on ways to get afloat for not much money.

A series of videos (15 as I write) on many aspects of sailing and getting afloat. Lots of good advice on what to do and how to do it and, probably more important, what not to do. Highly commended.

Some of the sound is rather poor.

The Frugal Mariner No longer sailing, but the website remains and is occasionally managed.

Dave Selby .. The Impractical Boat Owner A man on mission for accessible and affordable boating.Dave's book "The IMpractical Boat Owner" is now out. He also has a new website: and The Mother of all Maritime Links

Royal Yachting Association's "Try Sailing" initiative

Royal Yachting Association's "Push The Boat Out" initiative. In May of most years.

Classic Sailor Magazine

"Shoal Waters" The writings of the amazing pocket-yacht sailor, the late Charles Stock

Creeksailor The writing's of "Shoal Waters" new owner Tony Smith.

The Thrifty Sailor tagline "You don't need to be rich to buy a sailboat......but you'll feel like a millionaire when you do!"

Practical Boat Owner Magazine

WoodenBoat Magazine and their Boat Plans

Small Boats Monthly specialise in small craft

Watercraft Magazine specialise in small craft

Anglia Yacht Brokers specialise in small craft

Dinghy Cruising Association This group sail in dinghies usually converted for what we might call micro-cruising, and they have regular sailing meetings and rallies. A bit like camping in a dinghy. Normally no creepy-crawlies :-)

The Coracle Society -- Small, cheap, easy to build with some practice, and probably one of the earliest types of boat built by human beings. Possibly the original 'nutshell'. "How to handle a coracle"

The Currach an Irish sister ship type to the coracle. I presume the names have the same root as they're so similar. Currachs are usually rowed, are more easily steered and better in a sea. But they're also bigger, heavier and more complicated.

Tall Ships Youth Trust Tallship adventures.

Trinity Sailing Foundation -- Sail Training, Holidays, RYA courses, all of traditional gaff-rigged ex working boats.

Classic Sailing -- Sailing Holidays.

Small Boat identification ShortyPen.


Hints and Tips from Elsewhere

How Tos from In The Boatshed ... there's lots of really good stuff here.

Working The Sails - All manner of how-to stuff on sailing boats.

The Frugal Mariner -- No longer sailing, but the website remains and is occasionally managed.

Fundamentals of Restoration Projects -- A must read if you consider this approach. Understand FIRST what is involved or you may get more pain than pleasure or satisfaction!

Duckworks Magazine - Blog, and their sister site for boat building Duckworks Boat Builder's Supply

In The Boatshed -- Gavin Atkin's sailing blog has links to some really good, free, designs. and How-Tos.

Storer Boat Plans in wood and plywood. Lots of tips! and his collected Lug Rig tips.

Books and Magazines

Lodestar Books do a range of new prints of mostly old titles, many written when language was nicer and sailing was simpler. There are many I have yet to read, but I can commend several.

Classic Sailor Magazine

The Sharpie Book these archetypal American boats are really practical, simple and economic. Also available from Amazon and others. They can look very pretty, too!

Boat Designs and Kits

Jordan Boats -- precut ply parts and moulds for many and varied designs. (Selway Fisher, iain Oughterd, Francois Vivier, Dudley Dix, Andrew Wolsetenholm. and 'historic replicas'.) Kits include only sheet materials, not timber, glue, fixtures and so on. If they don't have the kit you want, often they can set up for you, for just an estimated 50% deposit. I used their pre-cut ply kits to build my own Iain Oughtred designed Puffin tender "Ακις (Akis)"

Classic Marine boat plans from several designers. (Hmm, their suggested hardware kits tend to be bronze, so not cheap. There is lower cost hardware available if you're not looking for a 'posh classic'.)

In The Boatshed -- Gavin Atkin's sailing blog has links to some really good, free, designs and How-Tos.

Duckworks Boat Builder's Supply, and their sister site Duckworks Magazine - Blog

WoodenBoat Magazine A huge catalogue from all sorts of designers and for all sorts of uses.

Selway Fisher Design. A UK designer with a nice eye and many relatively easily built designs.

Dudley Dix --

Butler Projects Plans for amateur and first-time builders.

Iain Oughtred Boats -- Australian site that sells Iain's designs, kits and so on. I'm not sure if they actually represent Iain, whom I think still lives in Scotland. Useful photos at the least.

Conrad Natzio --boats tend to favour practical and pragmatic over beauty, but often that's a better choice. This blog post is worth a read: Affordable Boating Around The World.

Phil Bolger (on Wikipedia) -- Was in a class of his own. Hundreds of designs, some really very pretty, some downright ugly, all highly practical in some way. There really is something for everyone. His designs are everywhere, but you have to seek them out. Have a look here: Bolger Boats on the Web for some ideas, but sadly a lot of broken links. There's a bibliography on the Wikipedia page

H H Payson Instant Boats -- Including some of the Phil Bolger plans.

Storer Boat Plans in wood and plywood. And their page on rigging lug sails well

John Welsford boat designs. A range of easy self-build designs that are sweet and capable.

John Owles' designs.

Sailing Clubs, Schools and Charter.

I can't possibly cover every option here ... there are just too many options, so I'll include a few highlights and helpers. A Web search will find very many. Here are some I know and like.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) in a UK organisation supporting all things boat and yacht: "The RYA's Purpose is to Promote and Protect Safe, Successful and Rewarding British Boating."

RYA -- Where's My Nearest

RYA -- Courses and Training

RYA -- Push The Boat Out (taster days)


Trinity Sailing Foundation

Sea Change Sailing Trust "Making a real impact on the lives of disabled, disadvantaged and socially excluded young people"

Working Sail

Tall Ships Adventures

Classic Sailing

Island Cruising Club

Les Glénans Sailing School

Hunter's Yard (Norfolk Broads)

Don't forget other types of boating

Canoe School

Windsurfing, Kite Surfing, narrow-boats, Dutch Barges.

FaceBook Pages and Groups

Nauta Vulgaris

Boat Building and Builders.

Pocket Yachts and Trailor Sailors

Small Sailboats

Really Simple Sails

Gaff Rigged Boats Worldwide

Duckworks Magazine

Small Craft Advisor Magazine