Summary of costs and expenses to date (Budget including boat acquisition was £32,000)

Replacement Anchor and 60m anchor Chain£1,500
Electrical Repairs and maintenance£500
Lifejackets (6 adult, 2 children)£2,000
Rigging and mast repairs£7,500
Aft cabin mattress replacement (seriously water damaged)£228
Pre-launch preparations and boat lift costs£600
Hydrovane Repairs£150
Safety Harnesses£500
Temporary Mooring costs during mast repairs (ongoing at £1,000 per month)£2,000
Tender and outboard (yet to be purchased)£1,750
Boat Survey£370
Boat cost£23,000
Bedding, supplies, tools, repairs and other Amazon purchases (July 2021)£2,600
Amazon purchases (shower repairs, plumbing supplies and misc) (Aug 2021)£750
EVA Foam to repair/replace decking£360
Danbuoy, life preserver and other safety equipment£500
Current Total: £44,571 as at 5th August 2021

It is worth noting that even if I had bought a more modern boat, perhaps an old charter yacht or similar, I would still have many of the above expenses and I would have paid £100k for the boat, not £23k. I don’t have £100k so that wasn’t an option anyway.

Why did I give up my day job and buy a boat?

Well, those that know me well know that this has pretty much been a lifelong dream to buy a boat and explore the world. As a child, I was captivated by tales of sailing and the sea, stories such as Swallows and Amazons, Robinson Crusoe, Hemingway’s tale of “The Old Man and the Sea” and so many other stories I’d read as a child.

In recent years my hankering was made worse by YouTube and watching the exploits of SV Delos, Sailing La Vagabond, The Sailing Frenchman (Hugo Picard), Sailing GBU and others.

not me at the helm

I first started sailing when I was 14 years old on the reservoir behind my school in Birmingham. I was bitten by the bug and enjoyed sailing a small mirror dinghy whenever I could, up until the time I started working full time and then moved to London to work for Demon Internet in 1995. Over the next 20 years I tried to go sailing as/when I could, but it never really seemed possible, there were always too many obstacles, problems finding a boat to crew and my heart wasn’t in balls-out racing – I preferred to cruise and enjoy the journey.

My career blossomed working for iii PLC and Redbus Interhouse PLC in fairly senior positions, which involved lots of travelling and no real personal time. Then in 2001 I bit the bullet and started my own business (Fido), which meant the end of any free time!

Over the years I had managed the odd day here and a week of sailing there, but it was more disappointing than fulfilling; so I pretty much gave up. When I tried to take my (now ex) wife sailing, she openly laughed “You don’t expect me to get involved in this do you?!” and promptly headed to the nearest 5-star hotel to recover.

Then, having finally “retired” in 2018 (selling the business I had spent almost 20 years developing), I decided to spend 3 months “unwinding”, sailing in the Med at the beginning of 2019 and signed on for a fast track Yachtmaster course, primarily to squash the nagging bug once and for all.

It didn’t work, I was just more determined to find a way to sail and in March 2019 I found a 32-foot Westerley yacht that was calling to me, I put an offer in, was in the process of arranging the survey when COVID struck and the UK went into lockdown. The deal fell through, and I spent the rest of lockdown cursing my luck and focusing on playing computer games, making videos and generally ignoring the call of the sea.

Lockdown finally came to an end and I arranged to go to Portland to view a 32 foot Moody. That took longer than anticipated because the broker’s office tested positive and they went into their own mini lockdown, but in the meantime, I found a 1977 Moody 39CC which was abandoned on the hard at the National Sailing Academy, it needed a little work but generally looked sound. I arranged a survey, which the boat passed with minimal findings (problems) so a deal was struck. That was June 30th 2021.

I had finally (suddenly?!) bought a boat! My dream was starting to come true! … Or, as I have often joked, welcome to my Mid Life Crisis!

Boarding Rules

We the undersigned confirm and understand that sailing vessels and water can be a dangerous place, and agree not to hold the Owner/Captain (Jon Morby) or his delegates liable in the event of loss or injury under civil law where reasonable endeavours to maintain your safety have been taken. 

In addition, we agree to follow all safety-related instructions issued by The Captain or their delegate and understand that failure to comply with such instructions may result in you being asked to leave SV Pamela C with immediate effect. 

We understand that most days will be documented by video and/or photography and we grant Jon Morby full and irrevocable rights to use and re-publish said images on a royalty-free basis in perpetuity. 

Rules of the boat

  • Always traverse the companionway backwards
  • One hand for you, one for the boat AT ALL TIMES
  • Safety harnesses to be worn at night and/or when instructed. 
  • You can choose to wear a life jacket at any time.
  • Life jackets MUST be worn at night and when you are instructed to do so 
  • No alcohol or drugs to be consumed without the captain’s prior permission. 
  • Follow the safety briefing instructions at all times. 
  • NOTHING goes down the heads (toilets) that hasn’t been through your body. If you block the heads YOU will have to unblock them. (No toilet paper, no baby wipes, no tampons, etc)
  • Freshwater supplies are limited onboard. Exercise conservation techniques at all times. 

These terms are deemed to have been accepted when you board SV Pamela C

The Ten Commandments (stolen from Finbar Gittelman)

The Ten Commandments

I am the Lord thy captain.

  1. There shall be no higher authority aboard this ship.
  2. Though shall not disobey my order
  3. Though shall not tell me a lie
  4. Thy shall not lose thy cool
  5. Though shall not take any strong drink or strong drugs without my permission
  6. Though shall not sleep on watch
  7. Though shall not waste water
  8. Though shall not hassle thy shipmate
  9. Though shall not piss to windward
  10. Though Shall not bitch

Stolen from Finbar Gittelman – The Old Man and the Sea (Return to Cuba)