Sailing SV Pipedream

is creating videos on designing, building and sailing a steel trimaran

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Where to begin?
Well a brief summary is that when I was 19, I borrowed some money and flew to San Francisco and drove a 1963 Cadillac Coupe De Ville to Miami on my own. I spent my 20th birthday at Disney World. On the trip I decided that I wanted to travel and after driving along the Gulf coast, I decided that I wanted to do it by boat.

Upon my return to the UK I decided that lacking sufficient funds, I would build a boat. Somehow this progressed to building a boat out of an old cooling tower or Chimney. The chimney was part of the heating system at St Cadoc's Hospital in Wales and when I took delivery it at the tender age of 20 years old, it was just a tube and I did not know how to weld or cut steel... I spent the next two years designing, learning how to weld and then building it, launching it and completing it. My goal was to sail around the world, but lacking the money I would need for major fit out, I spent a lot of time trying to get sponsorship. When this did not work, I went after media coverage and was pretty successful in getting Newspapers and TV crews involved - but still no sponsorship. I soldiered on doing what I could, but the name of the boat - Pipedream - began to feel like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In the meantime life intervened - I got married, we lived on board for a number of years, I took the boat to France and we lived there, I got a degree and an MBA... Sometimes I would have money and sometimes I would have time - but never both at once, so I improved the boat and just tried to keep the dream alive. 

Now all these years later, I have short window of opportunity. After major refits and modifications, the boat is nearing readiness and I am now in job that will allow me to take sabbatical leave. My son is yet to start high school and a break for a Transatlantic trip is doable. Yet with dependents, a massive mortgage and with Brexit threatening everything I have built, finances will be tight - very tight. My life has been a struggle against adversity and I hope to finally turn the corner. If I do, then I want to share the lessons and perhaps offer a small modest counter against the persistent negative onslaught that those who think differently encounter everyday.

So this is not another sailing couple with bikinis, perfect tans, a penchant for narcissism and an off the shelf expensive cruiser. This is just little old me with a steel trimaran built from a tube, middle-aged spread and an unfortunate tan line from exposing too much builder's bum... 

After years of hope and years of disappointment, I cannot offer grandiose statements and upbeat expectation, but still I write here with the little bit of hope that I have. I do not need much, but I believe that I can stand up for and offer hope to all those people who own those boats hidden away in the corner of boat yards. The ones that the rich yachties laugh at and the boatyard owners try to cast out. The ones who seem to have an impossible dream, the ones who struggle with out of date sikaflex and epoxy from 2005. The ones whose partners do not understand or support them, but look on with petulant apathy. No one said life was easy, but with a little bit of support it needn't be so hard.
Where to begin?
Well a brief summary is that when I was 19, I borrowed some money and flew to San Francisco and drove a 1963 Cadillac Coupe De Ville to Miami on my own. I spent my 20th birthday at Disney World. On the trip I decided that I wanted to travel and after driving along the Gulf coast, I decided that I wanted to do it by boat.

Upon my return to the UK I decided that lacking sufficient funds, I would build a boat. Somehow this progressed to building a boat out of an old cooling tower or Chimney. The chimney was part of the heating system at St Cadoc's Hospital in Wales and when I took delivery it at the tender age of 20 years old, it was just a tube and I did not know how to weld or cut steel... I spent the next two years designing, learning how to weld and then building it, launching it and completing it. My goal was to sail around the world, but lacking the money I would need for major fit out, I spent a lot of time trying to get sponsorship. When this did not work, I went after media coverage and was pretty successful in getting Newspapers and TV crews involved - but still no sponsorship. I soldiered on doing what I could, but the name of the boat - Pipedream - began to feel like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In the meantime life intervened - I got married, we lived on board for a number of years, I took the boat to France and we lived there, I got a degree and an MBA... Sometimes I would have money and sometimes I would have time - but never both at once, so I improved the boat and just tried to keep the dream alive. 

Now all these years later, I have short window of opportunity. After major refits and modifications, the boat is nearing readiness and I am now in job that will allow me to take sabbatical leave. My son is yet to start high school and a break for a Transatlantic trip is doable. Yet with dependents, a massive mortgage and with Brexit threatening everything I have built, finances will be tight - very tight. My life has been a struggle against adversity and I hope to finally turn the corner. If I do, then I want to share the lessons and perhaps offer a small modest counter against the persistent negative onslaught that those who think differently encounter everyday.

So this is not another sailing couple with bikinis, perfect tans, a penchant for narcissism and an off the shelf expensive cruiser. This is just little old me with a steel trimaran built from a tube, middle-aged spread and an unfortunate tan line from exposing too much builder's bum... 

After years of hope and years of disappointment, I cannot offer grandiose statements and upbeat expectation, but still I write here with the little bit of hope that I have. I do not need much, but I believe that I can stand up for and offer hope to all those people who own those boats hidden away in the corner of boat yards. The ones that the rich yachties laugh at and the boatyard owners try to cast out. The ones who seem to have an impossible dream, the ones who struggle with out of date sikaflex and epoxy from 2005. The ones whose partners do not understand or support them, but look on with petulant apathy. No one said life was easy, but with a little bit of support it needn't be so hard.

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