Author Archives: TomC

Naomi James – First Woman to complete a circumnavigation

Naomi James was the first woman to circumnavigate the world single handed. She set off on 27th September 1977 and finished on 8th June 1978. Her boat was designed by Van de Stadt, 53ft long, and 13ft beam. The voyage was not without its mishaps, in the Southern Ocean the lower shroud fell down exposing […]

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Les Powles circumnavigation

In November 1975 Les Powles set sail in his yacht Solitaire from Lymington on the south coast of England. He sailed 34,000 miles, circumnavigating the globe in two and a half years. He had been attracted to sailing quite late in life. He built the boat, then after 45 minutes sailing instruction with a friend […]

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It can happen to anyone

A guy I spoke to last summer told me how he had sailed across the English Channel to France with his wife and small children. Unfortunately soon after they arrived in Cherbourg a storm blew up and the family refused to sail back home with him. Instead, they all caught the cross channel ferry back […]

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Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and me

46 years ago on 14 June 1968 Robin Knox-Johnston left Falmouth in his 32-foot (9.8-metre) sailing boat Suhaili. His was one of the smallest boats to enter the Sunday Times Golden Globe race which was to challenge the competitors to circumnavigation the globe single handed. Despite losing his self-steering gear off Australia, he rounded Cape Horn on 17 January 1969, […]

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Sailing through the Williwaws

Ever heard of the Williwaws? Joshua Slocum, the first person to sail single handed around the world mentions them in his book when describing sailing through the Straits of Magellan at the South end of South America. This is the passage sailors take when travelling from east to west in order to avoid the longer […]

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The Steersman and the power boat

A few years ago while we were still learning about The Steersman, we were sailing in light winds with a fairly calm sea a  few miles off shore. There was just the two of us on board Tom, my son, and me. There were no other boats about and we had popped down below in […]

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Steersman tale

Last summer when sailing along the South Coast, we were heading towards a marker buoy. As we got closer it became more clear that we were likely to hit it. We were sailing on a narrow to beam reach at the time, and the Steersman was steering the boat. In order to avoid the buoy, […]

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The Steersman launches a new website

Welcome to our new website.   So what’s new ? Answer – A complete new product range. And here it is: The Steersman Helm Buddy is for smaller yachts with no jib sheet winch, and typically the jib or foresail size is between 6 – 15 sq m The Steersman Venturer is our middle range […]

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Steersman Wins the 2012 Haven Academy Award for Innovation

This year’s Haven Academy Award for Boating Innovation has been won by a new self-steering gear design for small yachts. Called ‘The Steersman’ by its designer Robert Chicken, it provides greater safety at sea by providing a reliable self-steering system which is not reliant on battery power. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, chairman of the Haven Academy […]

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