My main collection of work now is working across various sectors as a freelance skipper and instructor. Whether you want a holiday charter, navigator or sail training instructor then I have experience in offering all in a bespoke and friendly environment.
Recently I have started working for Ardent Training. My main job is content creation for their various online theory courses. If you are considering an RYA course, I would thoroughly recommend you use this team and do a theory course first.
As well as taking to the sea I also do a lot of local maintenance in Scotland. I manage the overall maintenance in the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust fleet, looking after a total of 3 boats. This is not just the hands on maintenance but also the management and recording of it so that any skipper can step on the boat and feel at home with a usefull guide to help them.
Sail Train Explore
I followed Rubicon3 for a while and when the opportunity came to work for them I jumped at it. Since 2017 I have been skippering their 60' yachts to various corners of the globe on longer sail training charters. I also became a lead skipper and took on the important role of training up new skippers and mate. Intensive but rewarding holidays await! Check out their website for some amazing sail training trips.
Books and Talks
When I was first asked to do a talk I was suprised that someone wanted to hear from me. But it has since progressed and hopefully has encouraged more people to see what sailing opportunities are out there and how it is possible for your anyone to enjoy. I have also been a regualr contributor to Reeds nautical almanac, write training plans and trip briefings for sail traning companies and have compiled my own book.
In 2016 I co-skippered an expedition adventure to Iceland and Greenland. Sailing north we took in the Faroes and Iceland before crossing into the Arctic circle and navigating with Icebergs. A most spectacular place and maybe the best sailing ground yet!?
Over 4 years and 3 seasons I worked on a cetacean research vessel in the Hebrides. Skippering this vessel was very different to normal sailing and was another great addition to the experience portfolio. It also allowed me to gain an invaluable amount of knowledge in marine mammels and other wildlife.
In taking short breaks from sailing, mainly through the winter periods I worked in more client facing areas. A high profile bar/restaurant in Glasgow before a busy ski resort bar and then chalet saw me gain even more skills and really sent my catering skills rocketing.
After gaining and learning a whole amount I felt it was time to give something back and so I became a cruising instructor, later to progress to a Yachtmaster Instructor. The early days of sail training saw me on the Clyde but in forthcoming years I would teach further afield on the Solent, Greece and a happy 2 seasons in New Zealand where the company I worked for won sailing school of the year.
Start of Freelance
While I sailed these bigger yachts it was always nice to go back to sailing on the smaller boats and I undertook a series of skippered and assisted skipper charters to give me a taste for the future.
2006 saw me take a year away from 'Drum' and work on a 75' Vaton sloop. I was mate onboard and with the just the skipper and I we completed 4 ocean passages bringing the boat from San Diego to Scotland with a season in the Caribbean in the middle. While in the Caribbean I was race crew on a 115' ketch ('Sojana') which gave a nice litle insight to the super yacht world.
In 2002 I started working on the famous yacht 'Drum', a 78' Ocean Maxi with a round the world under her belt. This kept me busy with a few other shorter periods on smaller local boats in various parts of UK and France. This progressed into mating and eventually a skippering her, a dream come true. I boat managed and skippered her for 4 memorable years and saw some amazing progress in the boat and team onboard.
In the early days sailing meant going to the local club and training and racing dinghies. This then developed to working in the local marina gaining experience on yachts and driving the local launch amongst other yard and office work.