My 45-plus years of sailing experience include motor-boating, rowing, windsurfing and kayaking, as well a range of sailing boats. Currently I have three boats:
The Heard-23 Falmouth Working Boat “Plum” built by Martin Heard. She is lovely to sail and very stable. Although only just over 23 feet length on deck, length overall including the bowsprit is 35 feet! Based on the River Blackwater, I’ve sailed Plum for 20 years between Lowestoft, Ostend and Cowes, mostly single-handed, and attended many of the OGA events (OGA, The Association for Gaff Rig Sailing, previously known as the Old Gaffers Association. I am currently the OGA Association Secretary)
- The 11foot Coot design sailing dingy “Dabchick” designed by Andrew Wolstenholme, and built by me, from scratch. She is such a pleasure to sail and is so easy to launch and recover from the slipway.
- The Beneteau Antares 760 “Stardrift”. Brilliant accommodation and sea-keeping for a boat only 26feet (8m) long. In the past 7 years, from my base in the River Crouch, I have cruised from the Norfolk Broads, The Netherlands and the Solent, including up the Tames to Reading.
You will see from the above I believe in diversity of boating.
Recently I have been doing some coxing in rowing gigs both for the South Woodham Ferrers rowing club and with the local Coastguard rowing team.
This website and associated eBook focuses on sailing rather than motor-boating as being alone on a sailing boat is more challenging and more complex than single-handing a motor-boat. However, some of what I have written will apply to both. If I get feedback that requests information specific to solo motor-boating I will include that later.
When not playing with boats I work for the UK Coastguard as a member of the South Woodham Coastguard Rescue Team. Alongside the other 340 teams in the UK we cover 70 miles of our local coastline and provide a 24/7 search and rescue resource, in conjunction with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and other rescue services, with detailed local knowledge of the waters and coastline. Our speciality is Mud Rescue. Click here..