A quiet evening at Waldringfield on the River Deben, Suffolk

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Contribute your own ‘tales of sail’

As you explore the tales already published here, why not think about contributing your own favourite historic sailing stories and images. The website includes a wide range of ‘tales of sail’ for everyone to enjoy, so please come back to visit us again.

The aim of the project is to promote an understanding of the richness of our maritime heritage through historic tales of sail and modern day sailing in classic and traditional boats. ‘Sailing by’ offers opportunities to share and explore historic sailing stories and we publish contributions from Shetland to the Solent and across the North Sea to the Netherlands, through the English Channel to France, down the Bristol Channel, along the Atlantic coasts, across the Irish Sea and down into the southern hemisphere.

‘Sailing by’: historic tales of sail

The ‘Sailing by’ website was launched as part of the Old Gaffers Association 50th anniversary celebrations in 2013. The site tracked the progress of the Round Britain Challenge fleet in 2013 alongside historic sailing tales from around the coasts and inland waterways of Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and northern France.

Historic ‘tales of sail’ have continued to be published on ‘Sailing by’, sometimes following a fleet or just finding interesting, topical tales to share. In 2017 the OGA Cruise in Company was Sou’ by Sou’West and in 2016 the cruises included tales from France as UK members of the OGA  joined the French at Brest and Douarnenez in July and for the Celtic Cruise, departing Peel in August 2016. In 2014, tales were added as the fleet undertook a Dutch Cross Country Tour.

Sou’ by Sou’West: 2017

In 2017, 30 traditional gaff-rigged boats from the UK and Holland cruised the Solent and South West coasts, with a small group braving the challenging weather to reach the Scilly Isles before returning to their home ports.

Celtic Cruise in Company: 2016

OGA Areas bordering the Irish Sea planned a Cruise in Company for August 2016. There was a successful muster at Peel, Isle of Man, but the Cruise plans had to be altered due to bad weather.

Cruises in Company to France: 2015 and 2016

OGA Members’ boats left the UK and sailed in company to France during 2015 and, in 2016 37 boats joined the French OGA for the Festivals at Brest and Douarnenez.

Netherlands Cross Country Tour, 2014

In 2014, a fleet of 70 Dutch and English traditional boats gathered in the south of Holland to cruise north in company to Den Helder. This event was organised to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Dutch OGA.

Round Britain Challenge, 2013

In April 2013, a small fleet of gaff-rigged sailing boats departed Heybridge Basin, near Maldon in Essex, and another from the Ijmuiden in the Netherlands, to circumnavigate Britain. The fleet grew, the majority travelling round the country clockwise, passing the East Coast again in July and finishing at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, 15 – 18 August 2013, for the Old Gaffers Association (OGA) Jubilee Festival. 225 boats and a thousand people enjoyed celebrations, racing and other events in Cowes, with the solitary counter-clockwise circumnavigator from the Netherlands, ‘Snoopy’, joining the fleet at last. On passage around Britain, many ports, marinas and harbours, large and small welcomed the fleet and enjoyed the spectacle of classic and traditional sailing vessels.

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Content published on ‘Sailing by’ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.