SilverApple SILVER APPLE SAILING was established in 1997 at Sunderland's newly built marina to organise skippered charters in the UK and abroad but particularly to provide skippered charters locally aboard the distinctive fast cruising sloop, SILVER APPLE - a Ron Holland one tonner design. After gaining recognition as an RYA Training Centre in 1998, formal RYA practical courses were introduced. With an established customer base, SILVER APPLE SAILING continued to arrange bare boat charters further afield and, with the skipper acting as a free-lance instructor, to conduct practical courses at various recognised RYA training centres.

In 2001 the skipper joined forces with Westward Quest, a Scottish registered Christian charity which took disadvantaged youngsters and church groups to sea and which gained recognition as an RYA training centre in 2002. Westward Quest is staffed wholly by volunteers which include its Principal, SILVER APPLE SAILING's skipper and former Principal, together with other Yachtmaster instructors and many helpers. Practical sailing courses and skippered charters are conducted mostly on the West Coast of Scotland during the summer but some on the North East coast of England during the winter by SILVER APPLE SAILING.

The Skipper

Skipper PicAfter an engineering appreticeship, which included a 26 day course at the Aberdovey Outward Bound Sea School, the skipper spent five years at sea in the Merchant Navy with Alfred Holt's Blue Funnel Line before graduating and gaining Chartered Engineer status. Since leaving the Merchant Navy his nautical education continued in small boats on the Norfolk Broads and charters on the Firth of Clyde. He completed the requisite RYA shore based theoretical courses and sea-going practical courses and examination to gain Yachtmaster Coastal, Yachtmaster Offshore (power and sail), Yachmaster Ocean and Yachtmaster Instructor certificates.

During his initial period of nautical aspiration, the skipper coaxed, cajoled or coerced some 160 crew members - mainly friends from church but also colleagues from work to help him 'discover' Ireland, North Wales, Anglesey, Isle of Man, Alderney, Iona, Staffa (Fingal's Cave), Barra and other Scottish Islands. Most sailed on more than one occasion and many on several. Each charter became bolder culminating in a memorable trip to the island of Hirta (St. Kilda) some 45 - 50 miles west of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. By joining Westward Quest, the initial Christian ethos of SILVER APPLE SAILING continued.

StavrosNiarchosAfter training on the Sail Training Association's brig, STAVROS S NIARCHOS, the skipper sailed as Watch Officer/Leader on the brig and on the the topsail schooner SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL. He has also sailed on the Faramir Trust's HARTLEPOOL RENAISSANCE and the Ocean Youth Trust's JAMES COOK.

Presently, SILVER APPLE SAILING gives own boat tuition and organises overseas charters from time to time but operates mainly in conjunction with Westward Quest with the skipper in the role of staff skipper and boat maintenance manager.

Why must I go down to the sea again?
I hear some land lubber yawn,
“I choose instead, to stay in bed
When the wind blows hard at dawn.”
To wind and waves, and hectic days,
The sailor comes alive.
They wake him up, they fill his cup,
No mundane nine 'till five. ©

Fill her cup
...fill her cup




Customer comments:
'You gave us all a memorable trip. I really cannot put into words how much pleasure it gave'