sells lots of boats every year and sometimes our customers keep in touch and come back to us when they are ready to sell and sometimes they just sail off into the sunset and we never hear from them again!

One of our customers, Ian Wyllie, bought a boat via Boatshed IOW in February 2021 and is taking on the challenge of sailing around Britain single handed. We thought you might like to hear his story.

About Ian:
Ian served briefly in the Royal Navy as an officer before a spinal injury in training left him with medical discharge. He had been hefted to the sea from an early age with his parents bold sailing of small dinghies in the North Sea to thank, and later did a bit of small yacht cruising. Rehabilitation after initial injury is hard. Doing it all over again many years later after complications is even harder, and he's incredibly grateful to the Andrew Cassell Foundation Charity for their patient coaching on the water, mentoring off it and encouragement to strive further. They showed him that it was possible to be fully independent on the water with his disabilities, and opened the door for him to go further. The charity has aspirations to expand their work and he's looking forward to helping increase awareness of their work and raise funds for their operations, in part to thank them for the role they have had in his life.

Buying the Boat:
Ian started looking for a boat as part of his recovery from some very tough late consequences of a spinal injury that had left him in a nursing home. The Andrew Cassell Foundation who help disabled people become independent on the water had got him back sailing and he was looking to take things further in the longer distance cruising area.

He started researching suitable small modern sailing classics with long keels and good layup. Because of his disabilities he knew he wanted a boat with a tight, deep cockpit, and good potential for adaptation in the heads, together with lots of storage. In his research he discovered Our archive of boats we had previously sold and their various conditions was hugely helpful. He had looked around various yards in Southampton and the South Coast, when he found a Vancouver 27 for sale with Boatshed IOW, she was in a pretty sorry state. So was Ian, struggling to walk her length, and definitely struggling to climb the boatyard ladder. Corinne, the Boatshed broker was however incredibly respectful and generous with her time, and his poking around suggested that her layup was secure even if everything else was not. He wasn’t expecting to make an offer, and didn’t, but as the months went on and she remained on sale with a reducing price he eventually made an offer and negotiations began.

When Ian purchased her she was called Muritai, however he has recently changed the name to Trilleen. He's indebted to his Mum for permission to use the name Trilleen which was the name of a fishing boat his Great Grandparents built. It’s an unusual Manx Gaelic word for something that looks down on us from he stars: the Pleiades or Seven Sisters.

Ian has worked hard on Trilleen and she is in a sound state now after rebuilds of her electrics, water, standing rigging, fitting a reconditioned hydrovane, and serious sea trialling.

Ian's Adventure:
Later in August Ian is setting off solo round Britain and Ireland (albeit not non stop) to raise funds for and awareness of the Andrew Cassell Foundation.

Sailing round Britain and Ireland - even with stops - is recognised as one of the smaller classic passages of the world. He's been planning the trip for a bit more than a year and working with the Foundation on achieving the best support for them, for about the same time.

Ian is planning on going west, round Ireland and up to Glasgow. He'll be breaking the trip there before beginning again in the spring. The timing is due to his role in sailing with the Foundation at Cowes Week. He's obviously concerned about the challenges of long distance single handing, especially with a disability; and the passage up the West of Ireland - especially if the conditions are less than perfect. In the following year, getting North of Shetland and then down through the gas rigs and wind farms on the East Coast will give him pause for thought!

He's looking forward to being out in the wider places of these islands. Mobility challenges prevent him getting to them on foot, but with the boat and the magic of buoyancy, they come to him! Ian feels achieving the sail will be satisfaction enough, however if it can give him good physical and mental shape, he hopes future employers will see he's in a position to work again.

Want to find out more?
You can follow Ian and his trip at once stopovers are confirmed, they will be updating the website.

If you'd like to donate to the Andrew Cassell Foundation this can also be done via the website. All funds go directly to the the Foundation.