Way back at the very beginning

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Before we embarked on our journey across the North Sea over Easter 2011, a seed had been planted a long time ago. While I was a toddler in the late sixties, my grandfather was a keen boat owner. I only remember his last boat, which was a converted lifeboat. I don’t recall much more about his pride and joy, other than he carried out the conversion and maintained it himself. He was a technically gifted marine engineer.


My earliest memories consist of the noise, smell, and movement of being onboard. My grandfather kept her moored at Clynder, which is North of Rosneath on the West coast of Gare Loch in Scotland [across and up a bit from Helensburgh & Rhu].


Although I was very young, that’s where and when I learned the basics of rowing, such as turning into the wake of a passing boat. Unfortunately the vast majority of that wealth of nautical knowledge in my family has been lost, and we’re having to learn everything from scratch.


There’s a reasonable chance that our first season as boat owners is in some intangible way linked to a deep-seated desire to rediscover the cocoon-like comfort that I experienced afloat in my formative years. My grandfather died before the Berlin Wall came down, and my grandmother, uncle, and mother are also no longer with us. Perhaps it’s about trying to be closer to them, or some how carry on the family tradition …or maybe in some small way, I want to make them proud of me posthumously.

Whatever the reason, I hope that we’re giving our children …the next generation, memories that they can take with them, and cherish for the rest of their days.



  1. This comment relates to the following page in the Macwester photo bank: https://macwester.wordpress.com/macwester-rowan-22/

    The photo of the Mac 22,non standard rudder is I believe our old family boat Lamingo,looking much smarter than the last time I saw her.the blue anti foul looks really tidy,so much better than the old red tiger brand that used to get slopped over her bottom at low tide down at east head.See Mr Wilson replaced her push pit in stainless but left that ugly outboard bracket .The rudder conversion was by the way the single best thing we did to change her from standard.would recommend it to all Rowan owners,along with the purchase of a large ghosting Genoa,made huge difference to her performance.Great to see her looking loved again,believe she was the first rowan built by Macwesters as she was used for a demo boat until our purchase in 69 or 70.Here’s to her next 43 years.


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