A month out from the ASA Annual General Meeting, the earth has passed the equinox again moving us into Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, out of Summer in the Southern. I attended the Maine Boat Builders' Show in Portland, Maine two weeks ago carrying Strange plans around, talking plans and boats — a fine equinox weekend. On returning home to Massachusetts we had snow for two nights. It must be Spring.
I Skype “attended” the ASA AGM, and though I was told they couldn’t see me I could see them and a good group it was. One outcome was a call for a monthly newsletter from the Honorary Secretary, so here goes. Virtually present, I more than half expected to be taxed with taking minutes, but was told that would be taken care of there, so we hope to get the full report soon. In the mean time I can report a few highlights: The reprint of the first ASA book, by John Leather sold more than 300 copies in 2015 and is still selling, showing and spreading interest and knowledge of Albert Strange. (Hopefully it will bring in more members too.)
In “boat reports” we heard that MIST needs only her suit of sails for John Krejsa’s beautiful restoration to be complete and sailing; some of you will be unaware of her, or may have forgotten her, so here are photos before (2006) and after John's nine-and-a-half year project, and you can read how we discovered and saved her on our website here.
CHARMINA (left) is getting a workover by boatbuilder Jamie Clay. SEA HARMONY is still for sale here in Massachusetts — more on that later. We had a bit of a crisis concerning TALLY HO lately when we got word that the Port of Brookings was worried we weren’t doing anything to find her a new owner. That was resolved for now by a call from Chairman Wynne to the Port Manager. Whew! The next Fastnet Race will be the 90th anniversary of her 1927 win, and perhaps the prospect of a centenary entry with her will attract a new owner to restore her.
One of the actions at the AGM was a unanimous vote of ASA Life Membership for John and Pat May, longstanding members who live on Humberside. Chairman Dick Wynne has sent a letter conveying this to the Mays along with a copy of the new edition of the Leather book. LEONA, (below) the Mays' 24-footer and the only Strange boat still in the Humber Yawl Club fleet, is still for sale. She is under cover and in good order, with trailer, and her bottom painted ready to go sailing. If she takes your fancy we can put you in touch with the Mays.
We will shortly be offering a pack of twelve A6 greetings cards for sale featuring six Albert Strange paintings. We anticipate that the eventual price would include free postage for those buying by post, estimated at £1, with a discount for those sold over the counter (or transom/canoe stern, as appropriate). We are thinking maybe £12 per pack (£15 to non-members), which at £1 per card compares very favourably with the retail cost of any birthday card these days. We think we can find some trade outlets for them also. If this works well we might produce sets of beautiful AS boat photographs — I can think of at least six straight away.
New member Martha Maguire has very kindly offered to help us create an Albert Strange Facebook page, and has written: "I've had a look around at other Facebook pages for various associations. Some are by 'invitation only', but I can't see the point in this, as no-one can see the content of the page without being a member. The page is a way of attracting interest, so should be able to be seen by anyone. Hopefully it will fill up with interesting photos, news, discussions etc. Whoever administrates the page can remove any untoward comments, should that ever be necessary! The Fb Page won't be a place for intra-association discussion; that can continue by email." [We will set up something—Ed]
Once the page is up we can integrate it with our website and email setup, and stay in touch with people by whatever means they feel most comfortable with. We will keep you informed.
So now it’s Spring! SEA HARMONY still rests under her winter cover but that will come off soon. It will then be time to lay on varnish, followed by bottom paint and launching. When that will happen I don’t know yet but hopefully by early May she will be on her mooring with rigging soon to come. As said above, no one is talking about buying her — so I just have to go sailing! She is the perfect two person sail boat. But, what am I to do if someone comes along wanting to buy and sail her themselves? Ah, build a smaller Strange cruising boat for myself. Here in the hills of western Massachusetts (down hill to the ocean, I say) I lofted OTTER last fall but then our 'Tech Sec' Rick Powell started talking to me about other Strange designs in the 25ft length. Of course there are the SHEILA / NORMA / THERESA II group of full-keel boats, but I was thinking shallower draft center plate/board boats. When I said one thing about Otter is her 7ft 6in beam Rick returned saying there is the lost design #61 created for a man in Buffalo, NY. (OTTER was designed for a man in Canada, so here was another boat designed for this hemisphere.) The lost #61, designed in October 1900, had a 7ft 6in beam but by December Strange had produced design #63 from #61, as he said “modified for English waters”, reducing the beam to 6ft. All this from Rick Powell who says, if you reverse the process you will recreate #61. Here is Strange’s drawing of #63 followed by his #44, OTTER, and my own re-creation of the lines for #61.
If you have any Strange-related news, we'd like to hear it — just drop me a line to
If your ASA membership has lapsed and you would like to renew it, you can do so by visiting this page. We eventually remove lapsed members from our mailing list.