"When I committed to the Golden Globe race and found the boat of my full-keel racing dreams, I realized that the hard work was just getting started. I was confronted with a staggering range of marine companies, boat yards and gadget pedallers. To be honest with you, I found it deflating and daunting. I'm not a naval architect and I haven't kept up with the latest and greatest things in the sailing world as, perhaps, I should have. So I did what we all do when stuck in a corner and need answers - I googled it! In short order I discovered that the maker of the boat was still in existence and better then that, they answered my call on the first ring.
Another happy surprise was that they were located in Falmouth, UK. I've always been a great fan of maritime literature, particularly tales of square rigged adventures ala Alan Villiers. You can't turn two pages of those books without seeing the hallowed name of Falmouth gracing the pages. That city had a reputation, through the age of sail, of being home to maritime craftsmen. Not just any craftsmen, mind you, but the best. The best riggers, ship wrights, sail makers, and carpenters all seemed to hail from that area. These were the people that, barring few exceptions, made world trade happen under sail.
A few weeks back, I made my first visit to the UK and made a beeline for Falmouth. There is an old saying in the States that goes something like this, "You never want to meet your old heros". On some level I was conscious of this and didn't want my excitement or nostalgia to cloud my judgement. These fears quickly proved unfounded. If anything, I'm now even more enamored with the lore of old English sailing tradition. This was due in no small part to Falmouth Boat Co.
The proprietor, Jonathan Fielding, attended to my every concern and need almost telepathically. I could tell he had given my situation careful thought before having even met me. The staff and craftsmen at the yard were equally impressive and I strolled through the yards other projects in varying stages of completion. The wood work, the steel repair, fiberglass, marine electricians, boat painting that rivaled a Michael Angelo - it was all here. At this point it dawned on me that I was certain I had found the right place for the job.
Something that I observed early in at Falmouth Boat Co. that made a quick and lasting impression on me was the camaraderie. Some people won't put much value on something like this, maybe they don't even notice it, but to me it's paramount. It's that 'Band of Brothers' feel to a place, the happy way that they go about their work. The way the older wright was teaching the younger, the good natured joking and happy way that everyone set about the task at hand. This type of pride in craftsmanship, brotherly love, and upbeat atmosphere always makes the better end product. It doesn't even matter what product we are talking about, this is the environment where excellence happens and I was in the front door!
Sometimes when you have a very important decision to make, where everything is riding on the right choice, the stars come into alignment and providence delivers. This, most definitely was one of those times. I hope to do their hard work proud with a competitive showing in the 2018 GGR. I feel like I owe it to them after seeing how they cared for me through this most difficult process. I can't thank Falmouth Boat Co. enough!
To Falmouth for Orders!"