“Don’t Boil a Kettle on a Boat” and other hazards

Jane Marlin sees her husband off at the dock, seemingly not worried about the pretty crew member joining Kevin and Pedro. But she has cause for concern—and it’s not Estella, the blonde PhD chartering Heather.

In UP ANCHOR!’S topper strip, WATER LORE, Kreigh Collins incorporated all sorts of nautical trivia, instructional information, and historical tidbits. When UP ANCHOR! appeared in its third-page format, the topper solved the problems caused by cropped panels, by serving as a throwaway. When running as a tabloid, only the larger panel appeared, filling the entire fourth tier of the comic. Generally, the subject of the topper strip wasn’t related to the feature at all (here, ice boats vs. sailing in the Gulf of Mexico).

Much of the information was recycled from or related to various former projects. For instance, a child-sized ice boat project was featured in a book Collins wrote and illustrated 30+ years earlier, called “Tricks, Toys and Tim.” (I highly recommend the book, if you can find a copy).

“Tricks, Toys and Tim” was published in 1937 by Appleton Century.

As Pedro looks for a snack, he is shocked to discover the damage caused by the saboteurs. And in this case, the subject of WATER LORE, a sinking schooner, is directly related to the events in the feature.

The resourceful skipper quickly comes sup with a plan to patch the holes, and the crisis is averted.

Occasionally, WATER LORE featured boating safety, essentially functioning like a Public Service Announcement. Somehow, I’m reminded of this strange PSA. It warns of the dangers propane can present on boats (and features an extremely spacious galley for a boat of the size shown at the end of the clip).

Kreigh’s wife Theresa wasn’t afraid to boil a kettle on a boat—here she is enjoying a spot of tea aboard Heather.

However, the cooking done on Heather was done safely using an alcohol stove more typical for a boat built in the 1920s.


For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.

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