Friday, August 12, 2011

So who was Cmdr. Denys A. Rayner and why the Blog?

    Cmdr. Rayner - 1943

DenysRayner - 1943

When it comes to post World War Two English sailor/designer/inventor/writer/tinkerers, and there are a number of them, the names: Blondie Hasler, Michael Richey, J.D. Sleightholme, Maurice Griffiths and Charles Stock quickly come to mind.  However, I believe one can not complete this list without including Cmdr. Denys A. Rayner.

Now, I won’t bore you with a rewrite of Rayner’s interesting life story.  You can click on his name for that.  Of course you can click on the other names as well.  That said, under Rayner, Westerly produced five fascinating sailboats, one of which is my own Westerly Nomad pictured to the right, Francesca-Rose.

Why this site – and - how will it work?

The reason for developing this blog is my belief in a need for a specific site to share with others of like interest, cruising and sailing experiences aboard  Rayner designed boats.

I do not see it as an alternative to “users groups” or “bulletin boards”. 

Rather, I see it as a place to publish simple stories or high adventures (including pictures), lore written by those who lived them and who, for one reason or another, do not wish to take on the burden of a web or blog site to publish their story on their own. 

Now, adventures, little and large, happen every day; even if it only seemed like a maintenance chore to you.   Sometimes they include You Tube videos.  Like the one below.

Most of the time however, it’s going to be text and pictures.  Like the time I stupidly tipped that green dingy into the Calumet River; alone, fully clothed and without a life vest. Scary!


So, here’s the deal.  All you have to do is send me your story (and pictures or You Tube link) attached to an email and I’ll format the story and publish it here.  In the mean time, I’ll publish a story or two (of mine) over the next few weeks to kick things off.

Time to let others know how much fun you can have on our old boats!


  1. Nice site. Look forward to seeing how your experiment works.

  2. Wow, I love this! You might want to check out some of my work on these boats, specifically a recent post on Young Tiger @ 1001 Boats and the same title @ 70.8%. You'll have to just google the blog titles, easy enough. I will link you to my blog and would appreciate the same.

  3. I sailed one of Denys Rayner earlier boats - a 5 tonne marine ply sloop called Danica - to Athens from Lymington and back with a friend Chris Jameson as skipper. See the image below and follow links on Rayner's pre-GRP designs
    And as I think you know I sailed a gunter rigged Westerly 22 - sail number 68 - to America via the Caribbean with Sue Pulford in 1965-66
    This boat has recently turned up again in a sorry state miles from the sea, but her new owners are determined to get her restored
    Great to see your new website. May it thrive. Simon

  4. hello, my name is Eva-Kris.... I LOVE my Westerly Nomad!!!!
    This is my story: