Small Craft

Late 19th & Early 20th Century British Yachting

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


Do not push a starting-handle, it has its feelings - and might back-fire.

If the starting-handle is mislaid, switch on the current; then get out and push the boat along. (It is usual to give the boatman who picks you out of the water a trifle for himself.)

Be cheerful under all circumstances; Job was cheerful - but he never owned a power boat.

If you know anything about motor-cars, do not show off when sailing in a friend's dinghy by referring to the centre-plate as the sprag.

If there is a leakage of current, take off your glove and dip your hand in salt water, then rub it gently over the affected part. This will locate the leak. "He fears no wound who never felt a short."

Mem. - How to avoid a sunken rock by keeping two objects at a maximum distance. - Stay ashore.

A man may have an auxiliary yacht and yet be a good sailor.

To repair a hole in the bottom of your launch when at sea: Jump overboard - this should be done promptly - mark extent of damage done with a red pencil, remove barnacles and weed with spanner or sardine-opener. You will then find damage more than expected; if so, return aboard and hoist signal, N.C.

If in a small boat your tank is forward, do not blow out the side lights at night when filling-up; the petrol will do this.

It is not good form to chalk the outside of your pneumatic fenders; it savours too much of ostentation.

Always keep a locker for tools and spare parts, such as: Corkscrew, sardine-opener, one bottle (three stars), knife with corkscrew, two glasses, one bottle (red seal). Carry nothing useless - the anchor stock will serve the purpose of spanner or hammer.

The dam thing is that part of the machinery you know least about.

Do not luff in a sea-way, the bearings might be hot, and a little water will cool them.

"`Tis better to have luffed and lost than never to have luffed at all," said the over-engined dinghy as she filled with a heavy sea.

Do not be guided altogether in the choice of a boat by the poster. There is always a big bow-wave in a photograph.

Keep the silencer quiet. It may sound very "doggy" to be mistaken for a quick-firer; but the mixture is too weak.

Buy your own fittings and parts. You are just as likely to get what you want as your own man - besides, there may be a discount.

Fill your tanks carefully. Some people feel squeamish if the petrol blows into their face.

When you are spinning a 30-knot speed yarn give the tide a bit of the credit.

Do not forget to give the other man a tow; you might need a pluck yourself some day.

It is a wise owner that understands the working of his own motor.

Motor experts sometimes know what they are talking about.

To prevent spray coming aboard, mudguards should be fitted at the sides. They can then be used either as aeroplanes or bilge keels.

An honest motor is the noblest work of Man.

The Yachting and Boating Monthly, March, 1907

"The Paraffin Motor"

Owner: "All clear forrad?" Mate: "Aye, aye, sir!" Owner: "Then turn up the wick."