Southampton Boat Show
Wed 9 Jul 2014 13:38
After doing all the midday chores I went for a snooze...the alarm went, a fishing boat about 7NM away is going about his business, gyrating.
So far the best day in Biscay but the wind does not give me much northing. As long as I move I am thankful.
I started at the SBS back in 1990 when Peter Peacock asked me to cover for his son as marina manager. It was a much smaller thing then more of a family affair and Peter had two of his sons working there as managers. I was asked for a second year and I stayed for many more. Peter was a hard man but he was fair. I told him that if he wanted me to run it as he wanted I would need to get rid of all staff and start afresh. He did bar one exception. Brought in fellow skippers and took a tough line. It worked. Even Murray said that you are hard but they respect you. Things started going a bit haywire when it wasn't the show manager who run the show but the members...During built up a famous yacht designer's son brought a yacht which would not go over the supporting bar of the bridge. She drew too much. I asked what do we do now Peter? Tell him to go home, which I duly did. Well there was a fuss behind the scenes and they made us split the marina (cut the water and power, take a section out) let the boat in and reconnect everything. That then became a feature, especially with the Sunseekers becoming bigger and bigger.
Peter left and Murray was in tears. They had been together for a long time at one stage Murray was going to be his son in law. Roger Mortimer from the London Boat Show came down and took over. We had great time, larger than life man, excellent to work for, he had absolute trust in me. He was with TC at the time. Went to his Christmas do and with his Nelson to Chichester with Jackie on the wheel. Eventually he had enough and left to start his own business and Murray took over. Totally different style, not so confident, he always had to cover his back. They made him a director and asked him to take the back seat and let the others do it...would he trust them? Certainly not. The show technically is run by the Health and Safety bods.
My crew over the years grew and changed, I had John my son with me one year too when he came back from Antigua. We had a succession of different safety boats that were not up for the job until Jason and Mark stepped in with Ribcraft. That was good for them and with us.
I was there for 17 years, but the last 3-4 years were a pain. I was not enjoying it. You had to fight for everything even for your drinks in the cupboard. All decisions were made by others. I suppose I was my worst enemy as I would speak my mind and and a number of times I told them "sack me" even as far back as Peter's time. Eventually they did not ask me back and I am not sorry for that at all. The only good part was the money, I even had to fight for that.