Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Herbert Thom's Canna

Above is a famous shot of Canna going like a rocket with, I think, Kilcreggan in the background, which would indicate she's in a stiff South-westerly breeze.

I'm not sure of the identity of the photographer, but guess it may have been Ian Gilchrist of Garelochhead and Windward Publications fame.

You can see the exposed propellor shaft of the wing engine. Also the mast is bending, so the luff of the mainsail has gone a bit slack.

Herbert Thom bought Canna in 1948, and it interesting that in 1952 she still had a painted hull, as he eventually had her topsides stripped and varnished, as with all his boats. He reasoned that they were lighter without numerous layers of paint.

I've just finished the fairly mammoth task of writing Herbert Thom's sailing biography. You can read it on http://www.scottishislandsclass.blogspot.com


  1. What relationship was Herbert Thom to Robert Thom, the owner of the island of Canna 1881-1911?

    1. I think they were probably related, but have never researched the connection. Perhaps someone who knows will post a comment.

    2. Robert Thom of Canna was my great great grandfather. Herbert Thom, despite the similarity of surnames, was no relation. Both sets of Thoms were well known Clyde yachtsmen with Herbert being, by far, the more famous. My branch of the Thoms were "upset" when Herbert called his yacht canna given that it was our family that had owned the island. no doubt it was a case of yachting caps at dawn !!! hope this helps. Robert Thom, Glasgow.


The Wherrymen

The Wherrymen
Two old friends on the water