Top Cat’s sailing instructor
In prehistory I grew up in East Yorkshire on my dads small holding. No boundaries, great start. Thanks dad.
Trained as a motor engineer for my apprenticeship ( lots of diesels as we were a land rover garage) Also Part time youth worker.
Redundancy at 22. Thank the fates! Apart from my family that’s the best break I’ve ever had. Decided then that if you must work 24/7 then you’d better enjoying doing it. I most certainly do!
I got into outdoor education. Teaching all manner of outdoor sports including my first love kayaking and second Rock Climbing. Dinghy sailing , windsurfing and Caving. All manner of rolls from holidays for hooligans to management training. Five years in various centres until I found big boat sailing.
Hmm, looks interesting? Its grabbed me ever since.
Small beginnings running six Cornish shrimpers around the Thames Estuary for Operation Drake. Then after a bike ride from Bombay to Bali, with a quick delivery to make some dosh from Singapore to Brunei. A stint running Flotillas out in Turkey ( loved it).
Back in UK I worked as a sailing instructor for various schools but mostly for Plymouth Sailing School. Got married. Back to Drake to run the 90foot schooner Spirit of Scotland. Then a six month charter skipper job with my wife Claire, around the Baltic on an Ocean 60
Set up my own School in 1994 ( I think) Quite by chance a catamaran. We had no money so needed to charter a vessel. Anything sitting in a marina that was clearly never used got one of my business cards stuck to its companionway. Well all except Sigma’s ( In those days every school used Sigma’s. Now its Bavaria!)
Top Cat cruising school was born but youre lucky it wasnt jim’s concrete schooner or Gaf Cutter School. I don’t care. If it has sails……:-
Crikey! that was 27 years ago.
I used to have a few boats and employ instructors. Given all that up. If you come sailing with Top Cat and I hope you do! Then it will be me teaching the bowline. Reason? Well I started this business to teach sailing. That’s what I love. I can sit in an office and put bums on beds while someone else teaches you, but I recon my skills are wasted there.
I have a hundred thousand miles on the clock under sail and most of them are teaching sailing.
Yes that’s 27 years of teaching folks the joys of sailing catamarans.
Ask any one of them. They’ll say I’m a fine cook too!
Oh yes, qualifications! I am a RYA yachtmaster Ocean, Yachtmaster instructor and Yachtmaster examiner.