Stafford Coastal Cruising Club

Michael Goodwin


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Dave (along with his dog – Bart) is well known to sailors and boating enthusiasts from his humorous column in Practical Boat Owner.   The proud owner of a Sailfish 18 (that’s feet not metres) Dave is a champion of getting afloat at minimum cost.    Last year Dave, 57, after preparing the boat with the help of friends and enthusiasts set off in his 18ft Sailfish Marlin from Maldon Town Quay as part of his own Charity Challenge to sail 300 miles to the Southampton Boat Show, and there to display his boat and host a series of talks, to inspire visitors to set sail themselves.


He said: ‘I want to share all that sailing has given me. There’s a myth that sailing is expensive. I bought my small boat in 2004 and it’s given me holidays of a life-time and opened up a world of adventure. Not bad for two-thousand quid.

‘There’s an ever-growing fleet of great, small, second-hand fibre-glass boats and they’re getting cheaper all the time. Sailing has never been more accessible.’

Dave, who suffers from a viral condition called Guillain-Barré Syndrome, was  also hoping to boost the coffers of theGAIN charity that funds research into his rare illness.

Dave added: ‘It’s an illness that affects the peripheral nervous system, and I’ve got an even rarer variant called CIDP, which means the messages stop getting through to my legs about every four and a half weeks. Then I go into hospital for three days and antibodies from the blood of 800 donors literally give me legs for another month. Humbling.’

Without spoiling the story, Dave successfully sailed up the Thames to London then round to Southampton in small hops as health, time and weather allowed,  arriving  for the opening of the show on September 16.

At the show he hosted a series of talks to demonstrate how to buy a boat and get sailing on a modest budget.

Dave will be talking about ‘Marlin’s Mission’ and no doubt will be doing so with the humour he is well known for........

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