The Yachting Monthly No. 290, Vol. XLIX June, 1930
Mr. Frank Cowper
The death, on May28 at St. Cross Hostel, Winchester, of Mr. Frank Cowper, at the age of 81, will be a loss to all cruising men who have read his many contributions to the pages of this magazine. His well-known books - "Yachting and Cruising for Amateurs," "Jack-All-Alone, His Cruises," "Cruising Sails and Yachting Tales" and the inimitable "Sailing Tours" - have become classics, and the last book which was published just before his death - "Vagaries of Lady Harvey" - will probably become as popular
From his earliest days Mr. Cowper took cruising to heart and probably did more to popularize this particular way of life than any man of his day. It is almost inconceivable to us now the predjdice which then existed in the public mind against the man who did not employ hands aboard his yacht. But it was through this veteran singlehanded sailor's adventures and writings that the public began to recognize small yacht cruising as a sane man's pastime.
During a varied life Mr. Cowper had many interests: his knowledge of classical history was extraordinary; he was both a painter and an architect and he designed his house, Lisle Court, at Wootton, Isle of Wight, in 1883. His knowledge of boats resulted in his designing and building the Undine II at Strand-on-Green in '97 and, although most of his writings concernced his ventures in the Lady Harvey, the Undine was his favourite boat.
Such a life of freedom and adventure did not prepare him for a quiet sojourn in the confines of St. Cross and he never overcame the feeling of being tucked away and forgotten by the hurrying world. His one great desire was to build another single-hander and to sail away in her and never to be heard of again alive - even as his predecessor, McMullen, passed away down Channel. But when he realized he was to die at St. Cross he resigned himself like the man he was to his fate and acknowledged that it was all "as it should be."
But the soul of Frank Cowper, the love of adventure and the joy of taut sheets and a hurrying wake at dawn, will live; those youthful aspirants to cruising from Oxford University and Winchester College who were wont to go to the old man for advice and help, and came away fired by his unquenchable enthusiasm, they will help to keep alive the spirit of cruising.
The Yachting Monthly No. 291, Vol. XLIX July, 1930