Have you named your Hebridean?

February 9, 2023 Off By admin

Once installed, the apparent presence of ‘an invisible person’ helming your sailing vessel invites its baptism with a human name. When John Fleming described to me some of the life of his Bermudian privateer grandsire, there was only one name for my Hebridean.


Here is a fascinating account of the life of Hezekiah Frith (1763-1848) from The Bermudian. Born 45 years after the death of Blackbeard, Frith was an energetic privateer in the last days of privateering in the Americas. I reckon Hezekiah would have given a nod of approval to his descendant’s steering device. Which takes me to thinking how the clever Hebridean geometry might have allowed a self steering mechanism to be developed for a square rigger such as Frith’s own Experiment… We know that in a breeze the Hebridean steers more efficiently than any helmsman. Could Frith have escaped capture by the French navy?

Sailor of Fortune: The Life of Hezekiah Frith