18th December

The Log of the Molly B

Cian Gallagher

reviews Molly B

One of the great challenges of the keen sailor is to keep an updated log of all voyages and crossings, and especially of all lessons learned. Pete Hogan goes much further in his own log-keeping practices by literally painting the picture of locations visited, activities undertaken, and reasons for going where he went.

How many sailors can boast that level of dedication to their craft?!

At the very outset of his biographical adventure work, The Log of the Molly B, Hogan introduces the reader to what he had wanted to do for a very long time as a young man filled with a strong interest in boats.

His story begins at a time when he gave up a steady job, travelled across Canada to the city of Vancouver with a single purpose driving him on:

“Boats were on my mind. I was obsessed with them...”

And he goes on to explain the great and exciting lengths to that where this obsession took him to. A very familiar tale around many harbours and local sailing clubhouses!

Ketch design

Accompanied by excellently sketched illustrations, we read of the exciting history behind the discovery; his purchase of, and the overall project build of the Tahiti ketch hull mould for the Molly B yacht from a local boat owner.

Granted yard space to build; (always a bonus!) tracking down the original builder; generating friendships and often fame around his work, and finally launching into the Pacific ocean and all the ups and downs of Hogan’s voyages south along the US coast as far as the Panama canal are described and supported  by full colour as well as the traditional black and white of the pen..

Hogan tells us of his constant learning process, the creation of his own live-aboard space, replete with Perspex dome; no electronics; no toilet, shower, or even engine (the regular bystander might well be forgiven for questioning the boat’s seaworthiness.)

‘I did a lot of salvaging and improvising,’ he reveals. This practical approach to his surroundings, however, would stand to him in the places he visited and journeys he made.

We also follow Pete through his unique crossing of the Panama Canal and learn how he very nearly didn’t make it with his 9.5hp outboard; his passage to Ireland and subsequent decision to up sticks again and set sail on an adventure that would take him around the world via Australia and Brazil. The sense of calm and humour with which he writes and paints has a thoroughly welcoming manner and even though his travels spanned several decades, we read them as if they were simply part of last year’s holidays...

For all sailors, would- be boat owners, boat-builders, or even the solo round-the-world adventurer, this book is a must read.

Embodying the very spirit of adventure and an always-inspired desire to get on and do something new, Hogan brings us on an unforgettable voyage through the waters of some of the major sailing continents of the globe and gives us a superb insight into how to do it, along with a box of paints and the right attitude.

 

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