I was five years of age when I first fell in love with the sea, which is the subject of the first story in my book All At Sea.
I was a ‘natural’ at it, often performing a task on a boat before being told when or how to do it. I believe this knowledge came from a previous life spent on the water, and from the genes of two grandfathers who had been seafarers, and my father who had also spent some time at sea. Even my adventures in boatbuilding came without much formal training, but rather by ‘the seat of my pants’ and working with hunches. Having built a number of small runabouts and repaired larger boats including commercial fish boats, when my eye saw the problem my hands seemed to know what to do. When I ventured into the pleasure-boat market I designed a nineteen-foot fibreglass cruiser, one of the first of its kind on the market in the U.K. and Europe. Following a huge success, Fairline Boats was launched, and continues to this day to build hundred-foot luxury cruisers.
Although I parted from the company some forty years ago, I still feel part of it. And though I no longer sail, the sea will always be a part of me.