Small Craft

Late 19th & Early 20th Century British Yachting

The Sailors: Amateur British & Irish Yachtsmen Before World War One

Linton C. Hope, 1864–1920

One of the few professional yacht designers in our group, Hope designed a wide range of craft including canoes, ocean-going yachts, and even flying boats.

He noted in the introductory issue of The Yachting Monthly (Illustrated) in May, 1906 that though he had been a salt-water sailor for something like 30 years, having been brought up on the sea, he had found in recent years a growing interest in, and respect for, the river sailing and racing of the Upper Thames.

No one appreciates the delight of a hard thrash to windard, say from Calshot to the Lepe, better than myself; but for the fine art of getting a boat to windward through baffling puffs, turning buoys within a couple of inches, and knowing to a square inch how much canvas it will pay to carry under given conditions, I must confess that, much as I despised it at first, this river sailing is to ordinary sea sailing as fly fishing is to bottom fishing, or as snipe shooting to shooting tame pheasants.

I do not mean to say that one gets any of the charm of the sea sailing, which must, of course, always remain with the open water and true breezes, both of which are unobtainable on most inland waters; but at those seasons when no sea racing is obtainable one may get far worse sport than that to be had during the Easter races on Teddington Reach.

Boat Sailing on the Upper Thames. The Yachting Monthly (Illustrated), May, 1906

This interest led to a series of articles for the magazine about racing of various sorts on the Thames over the next few years. I hope to reproduce some of these articles here in time.