For years, Arthur Ransome's yacht, the "Nancy Blackett", slowly decayed as she lay tethered to the harbour wall in Scarborough. A car tumbling over the edge almost finished her off before Michael Rines discovered her and decided to restore her. The ship was relaunched in 1988 in her old home port of Pin Mill. On that occasion, the author met most of those alive today who knew at first hand of Ransome's passion for boats. Six large yachts and innumerable sailing dinghies had occupied Ransome into his seventies. All this venturing had fired his genius for story-telling, not only in the "Swallows and Amazons" books, but also in countless letters to friends, and in the detail of the logs he kept of all his voyaging. From the published and unpublished writings on sailing in the Ransome archives, and from anecdotes passed on to him by those who knew Ransome well, the author has pieced together a portrait of that old sea-dog Captain Flint, alias Arthur Ransome himself.