What They Say


You have a gift as an instructor.

Competent Crew - 'Breeze' - Kim - January 2024

Thank you for all your work over the years.

You will certainly be missed. 

You have been such a great member of the team.

Thanks for all your help with the photos and videos, always a big hit.

It's been great having you onboard.

There are some big shoes to fill.

Absolute unsung hero of the team.

Yacht Maintenance - 'EMCT' - Team - December 2023

We feel very lucky to have Stuart working for us. His attitude towards providing the best possible experience for our students, and always looking for ways to go above and beyond the requirements, is greatly appreciated. I hope we can keep working together for a long time.

Ardent Training Principle - Edd - October 2023

Your fastidiousness seriously impresses me!

Safety Gear Checks - Gee - September 2023

Many thanks once again for helping me through the Day Skipper practical. It was a good fun week.

Day Skipper Practical - Victoria - August 2023

I did the Yachtmaster Offshore practical exam with Stuart as the examiner. Without compromising the requirements of the exam, he managed to make it into an enjoyable if demanding experience. He has a very calm manner which combined with a nice sense of humour made me feel like the exam was an opportunity to demonstrate what I could do, rather be caught out getting something wrong.

Yachtmaster Exam - Laurence - May 2023

Passed. Thank you sooooo much. Really thank you.

Private Theory Tuition Prior To Passing Ocean Exam - Simon - April 2023

We had high expectations for your visit but you exceeded in every department.

South of France and Corsica - 'Casper' - Steven - September 2022

Thank you very much for your time and very insightful input on our planned crossing.

Passage and Weather Advice - Mark - September 2022

We are all so grateful to you. You've provided a spectacular experience we will each appreciate for the rest of our lives. Thank you for all you do, to encourage the love of sailing.

Norway to Iceland - 'Starling' - The Whole Crew - August 2022

Great teacher and the most calm man we've ever met.

Arctic Norway - 'Starling' - All Female Crew - July 2022

Personal life highlight was being watch leader with you as captain on passage from Noway to Iceland.

Norway to Iceland - 'Oriole' - July 2022

I wanted to thank you for a truly amazing trip. I feel you did a great job in patiently answering our questions, giving well structured and practical teachings, creating a safe and relaxed atmosphere on board and being so hands on with all the little things in daily boating life. 

Scottish Islands - 'Oriole' - Katrin - June 2022

You are a wonderful teacher and clearly a competent and experienced sailor and instructor. You are also a person that I intuitively trust, and you have an infectious enthusiasm for life., adventure and sailing; making it easier for more cautious people to follow you. It was a rare privilege to sail with you.

Orkney and Shetland - 'Oriole' - Sarah - May 2022

I really hope we do sail again with you. You were brilliant.

Whale and Dolphin Research - 'Silurian' - Jane - April 2022

Thank you so very much for your truly outstanding teaching, support, patience and encouragement. If I have another chance to sail under your watchful eye I'll consider myself very lucky.

Coastal Masterclass - 'Starling' - Sue - September 2021

We had a great week. A perfect combination of wildlife, scenery, sailing and food.

 Skippered Charter -  Robert - July 2021


 Own Boat Tuition - Mark - May 2021

Just wanted to say what a great week it was - particularly due to you and the quality of your teaching. I so enjoyed being on the receiving end of quality tuition and was so impressed by your skills at delivering the syllabus so well, facilitating people’s understanding, building confidence, dealing with a range of ability and knowledge, planning out tasks and exercises and always staying so calm, patient and encouraging. Truely inspiring.

Scotsail - 'Safira' - Day Skipper -  Erica - October 2020

Thanks again for your professional help. We will be back in touch to see if you are available for some further adventurers/education.

Private Delivery - Norman - August 2020

Hi Stuart, I passed my YM exam in the early hours yesterday. Really delighted and many thanks for your help and in preparation along the way - invaluable. 

Private YM Preparation Week - David - August 2020

Stuart has inspired us to do more sailing in the future. I got overwhelmed a couple of times when the seas were rough or I felt I wasn't good enough. But Stuart persisted with me and made sure I didn't give up - for which I am very grateful. Good skills Stuart! Stuart cooked us delicious and nutritious meals and kept our energy up with plenty of good snacks!  He was a great role model - taking swims in the morning and afternoons by clockwork - which doubled as a quiet family time/down time space in the day for us which was nice! As a teacher myself, I cannot fault his lessons. Stuart gave nice short bursts of information - explaining complicated (to a newbie) concepts simply and using a whiteboard to illustrate the points. This really helped kick in/reinforce a good understanding of the theory side of sailing.

Sail Nelson - 'Breeze' - Annette and family - February 2020

Great Experience. Very knowledgable instructor. A lot of practice with boat handling, great for people that wanted to learn.

Sail Nelson - 'Breeze' - Siyang - February 2020

Very good week, learnt heaps. Stuart was awesome

Sail Nelson - 'Breeze' - Dan - January 2020

Very positive experience and the highlight of my trip to New Zealand. I greatly appreciated Stuart's knowledge and attention to safety.

Sail Nelson - 'Breeze' - Stan - January 2020

Extremely knowledgeable, experienced skipper with a friendly professional approach. I am grateful for the efforts Stuart put in to advance our skills.

Sail Nelson - 'Breeze' - Chuck - December 2019

Thanks for a fantastic week of sailing, learning and exploring. Great company and conversation.

'Moonrise' - Fred - August 2019

Thanks for the wonderful ride. It's been a dream.

'Moonrise' - Orna - August 2019

The week with Stuart was fantastic. Stuart gave us a great experience on the Firth of Clyde, his mechanical experience kept us going along with his generous heart and timing.

'Moonrise' - Danny - August 2019

It was great to meet you all and learn together from Stuarts excellent teaching style.

'Moonrise' - Shirley - May 2019

I learnt an awful lot. A special thanks to Stuart for his excellent instruction

'Moonrise' - Peter - May 2019

Always a pleasure to sail with Stuart, we enjoyed our Scottish adventure and training.

'Moonrise' - Tracey - May 2019

Thanks again for everything. I’m well chuffed to have passed - and you’re the guy who got me up to the standard.

On passing his Yachtmaster - Terry - April 2019

Thank you very much for the positive feedback. You were great and I learned loads.

'Hummingbird' - Watch Leader - Claire - December 2018

Thank you again for a fantastic time. I greatly admired your expertise and sang-froid!

'Hummingbird' - Stephen - Dec 2018

The time with you has given me loads more confidence not just to sail and park etc but to tinker too. So thank you again.

Own boat tuition - Sarah - May 2018

I just want to drop you a line to express my gratitude for such a professional job these past two weeks. You and Luke made the trip both informative and a pleasure.

'Oriole' - Passage Making Masterclass - Alexander - April 2018

Thanks again for everything on the trip - it was fantastic.

'Oriole' - Passage Making Masterclass - Terry - April 2018

You really are a great help. Thanks for your support

Land based private thoery - Bas - March 2018

Thank you very much for running the course for us. I really enjoyed getting to grips with teaching the course, learned a lot from yourself and the way you taught the course.

Yachtmaster Theory Course - Martin - January 2018

I cannot express how much I enjoyed the voyage and this was largely down to you and Michael.

'Oriole' - Norway to Iceland - Ian - August 2017

The skipper, Stuart Cook, is remarkable: he is expert in his skills as a sailor, provisioner, and teacher (in addition to his onboard baking wizardry). Moreover, he seems a genuinely good soul. Most striking was his eternal patience in teaching, both in his seemingly impromptu lessons on meteorology, sail trim, etc., and in a practical sense on-deck in improving the skills of the less experienced sailors on board. It never seemed that he was merely enduring our incompetence but rather was employing our mistakes to steer us toward mastery of particular skills. He never said: “Don’t do X! Do Y right now!” but instead something more like: “You might want to try Y instead of X.” As a teacher myself, it was inspiring to witness.

'Oriole' - Norway to Iceland - Jerold - August 2017

I really did love the time on Oriole and will be forever grateful to you for your patient and committed approach to ensuring all of us learnt what we wanted to during the Sail.

'Oriole' - Norway to Iceland - Bridgette - August 2017

It was great to see the dedication, skill and enthusiasm of all the crew and to get a feel for the work you all do.

'Silurian' - Kyle to Tobermory - Dale, Company Trustee - June 2017

A fantastic adventure with one of the best inspirational and supportive skippers.

'Oriole' - Edinburgh to Iceland - Tracey - June 2017


Thank you for teaching me lots on the trip and being patient. It was a lot of fun.

'Oriole' - Amsterdam to Edinburgh - Harry - May 2017


Passing my Ocean ticket was in no small part helped by you and your patient and thorough nature in teaching me along the way.

'Hummingbird' - Ocean Crossing Masterclass - Chris - March 2017

Stuart led our RYA competent crew course in October 2016. He has a wealth of sailing experience and a knack of explaining everything clearly. He was terrific training our young 10 year old son too. Thank you Stuart

'Nutmeg' - Competent Crew - Mark Heffernan - October 2016

You taught us so thoroughly and so well that we had every confidence in our ability.

'Zicatella' - Day Skipper - Paul and Jan Spivey, September 2016

Stuart was fantastic, just the right balance of fun and learning.

'Indiana' - Day Skipper - Alistair, May 2016

Stuart was  thorough, encouraging and a real asset onboard during the passage. His knowledge of the area and local tidal streams really helped us to complete long passages with minimal fuss and in good time.

'Miss Behaving' - Allan Lennox, Co-Owner and Skipper, August 2015

We had the best time with you both and you've taken excellent care of us. The food and hospitality  was amazing.

'Alpine Ethos' - Christina, Jef and Seth, March 2015

Thank you so much for making our week so enjoyable. It's been great getting to know you.

'Alpine Ethos' - Jess, Jo, Josh, Chris, January 2015

I’ve never heard such enthusiasm from a group that got so soggy. You obviously did a great job with them. A real testimony to how good an instructor you are.

‘Manaia’ – Milo Coldren, Superyacht Course Coordinator, April 2014

Thanks again for your superb effort at making the course a good experience.

‘Manaia’ – Day Skipper - Vic Sue-Tang, April 2014

I think your clear instructions made the course very easy to understand. Your knowledge of the course was great, I don’t think there was one question you couldn’t answer.

‘Manaia’ – Yachtmaster Prep - Scott Fyfe, March 2014

I have been quite amazed to see all there is to know about being in charge and sailing a boat. I really had no concept. I have appreciated all the information you gave and how attentive and happy you are to give it. Thanks for keeping us safe.

‘Silurian’ – Lena, July 2013

Thanks Stuart for your professionalism, entertainment and general help.

‘Silurian’ – Kate, June 2013

First and foremost you are a brilliant teacher – and I have seen a few in my time. You are not only knowledgeable and experienced but have a very patient way of passing information on to make it sink in and stay in. The only other person who comes close to that is Pete Goss who taught me heaps before the British Steel Challenge over 20 years ago. I hope you will accept the comparison as the compliment it is intended to be.

‘Manaia’ – Yachtmaster Prep - Rob Milnes, March 2013

I want to thank you for a very comprehensive course last week.  I am really glad you covered as much material as you did and appreciate your commitment to teaching sailing, not just sailing. That you are passionate about teaching is a huge asset to Sail Nelson as I am going to tell them soon in another email.

‘Manaia’ – Day Skipper - Susan Detweiler, March 2013

Thanks so much again for the Day Skipper course, you really are a fantastic instructor.

‘Manaia’ – Day Skipper - Lisa Lyons, January 2013

I can confirm that Mr Cook is well known to me and that he is a wholly competent, professional and accomplished sailor of excellent character and I would not hesitate to recommend him for any sailing position.

‘Tarka Dubh’, ‘Zara’, ‘Bowfin’ – Graham Primrose, September 2012

Stuart is a very dependable, enthusiastic and willing individual, who always put his colleagues and customers first, ensures that everybody enjoys themselves and gets the best out of his colleagues, as well as succeeding at his own goals. As a skipper, Stuart is highly qualified, extremely competent in his boat handling and very organised in the day to day running of the yacht.

‘Drum’ – Susie Edmond, Drum Crew, June 2012

I have known Stuart both professionally and personally for four years. During that time, I have seen him show great leadership, passion and determination to succeed. He is an excellent timekeeper and showed total dedication having remained at the same company (Arnold Clark) for almost a decade. His outlook on life is very positive and he has a proven ability to enjoy working independently and as part of a team.

‘Drum’ – Cameron Dinsdale, Naval Architect, June 2012

Many of my guests on our Arnold Clark charters have asked me to express their gratitude to you for your professionalism, competency and enthusiasm. I would go as far as to say you have been the best skipper we have had on the boat over the last twenty plus years.

‘Drum’ – Laurie McPhillips, Corporate Host and Fleet Manager, August 2011

I just wanted to say a big thank you for the most fantastic day out on Drum on Friday – Stuart, Susie and Cammy were absolutely brilliant and we couldn’t have had a better day of sailing and great food and banter. As we all said at the end of the day – You just don’t get better than that!

‘Drum’ – Alison Chadwick, Yachting Life, April 2011

The crew pulled out all the stops.

‘Drum’ – Dave Handley, August 2010

Wanted to pass on our thanks to yourself and the crew for looking after us so well. Everyone enjoyed the day which is undoubtedly down to Stuart and the others for giving us such a good day out.

‘Drum’ – Kevin Hadden, April 2009

It was a day to remember for a great number of reasons but mainly due to the skipper Stuart and crew. From the time we arrived until we left we were looked after. They were an absolute credit to themselves and the organisation.

‘Drum’ – Ricky Gray, August 2008

It was a wonderful day in all respects, the crew of Drum could not have been better. Your boat is certainly in safe hands with Stuart in charge.

‘Drum’ – Microgen Products, July 2008

This was a fantastic day and one I will remember and talk of for a long time. I would also like to say thanks, not for the sailing but to be able to watch a team that worked so well together with effortless skill. That is something I wish my guys in the yard could aspire to.

‘Drum’ – Mike Barrell , June 2008

Mr Stuart Cook worked for me between January 2006 and November 2006 aboard my 75′ yacht. He took up his position in San Diego, California before sailing on to Panama, Antigua and surrounding islands, Azores and Scotland before completing a refit ashore. During this time I can only be complimentary about the seriousness of his work while also fulfilling his tasks with goodwill and humour.

‘Javelin’ – Andrew Dove, North Sails, September 2007