Monday, 24 December 2018

End of year round up for 2018

What a roller coaster of a year I have had, good times, bad times, happy ones and sad ones, however I am still here and ready for new challenges which will come my way in 2019.

The start of 2018 was a busy one, London Boat Show then straight onto a weekend visit to Boot, Dusseldorf. That certainly was an eye opener for me, and 20,000 steps in one day was not what I expected.

We had a busy time at the yard, with five new boats being built, two going to New Hampshire and one going to New Mexico.

Then in June my beautiful daughter Lauren married Jamie, a very proud mummy moment, I was and always will be so very proud of both my daughters, and I am so very proud that they have grown into such wonderful, caring young ladies.

July was a fun month of excitement and adventure, I was approached and asked to supply five Drascombe Luggers for filming in Kings Lynn, well it didn't take me long to find five boats as well as willing crew. So off we all headed to Kings Lynn for a few days, the weather was fantastic, probably too warm, but we couldn't complain.

Luggers in the water and all dressed for their part, I was then asked if I could supply two willing volunteers to be in the film, oh how I enjoyed this bit, young Will and Dick were then sent off to the dressing room, and suited and booted to the 1840's era.

I am so looking forward to seeing the film next years, The personal life and history of David

Also in July, my youngest daughter Hannah was 21, a real day of celebrations (well a couple of days as it is Hannah), a family meal and then a party of friends and family followed.

August come around so quickly, and it was Kyle's 4th birthday, my gorgeous, little soldier had left pre-school and was already to start at big school.

Drascamp 2018 was my only event of the year, 35 boats and 105 people joined in a Cleavel Point in Dorset for six days of sailing, BBQs, horse racing, games and plenty of beer and wine.

On September 2nd, I handed over to its new owner Will Coombes, the very first Drascombe Lugger "Katharine Mary", Will so wanted to buy her, and it was lovely to see this beautiful boat go to her new owner, at 23, Will now owns a piece of Drascombe history.

September was a very difficult month for us all, my lovely father in law Stewart (Brown) was admitted to a local hospice, Stewart was told at the end of 2017 that there was nothing else the
doctors could do for him, so to go home and enjoy what time he had left. With two fantastic sailing trips, and a surprise pub lunch where I arranged for Dick Pizey and Brad Bradshaw to join us all as a family, sadly Stewart's health deteriorated.

I visited as often as I could do, even taking Kyle with us on two occasions, I'm sure those visits helped him through the worst.

With Southampton Boat Show about to start, we exhibited a Drascombe Lugger and the Drifter 22 which Stewart sailed in for eight years.

Sadly on the last Saturday of the show in the early hours of the morning, Stewart Brown passed away peacefully. A difficult day for us all, however we carried on as he would have done so, for me, holding back the tears when talking to customers.

In October, we had a week of sadness and joy, over 110 people attended Stewart's funeral service, what a fitting tribute to a man who was known by many in the Drascombe community.

The following day, sadly no sunshine, but I was a very proud mummy to see my youngest daughter graduate from Winchester University with a Degree in Marketing - Grampa may not have been there in person, but we know he was with us in spirit.

Brad organised a lovely weekend for the Drascombe people, we had a tour of the RNLI lifeboat station at Poole, and saw all the working and going on at their deopt, even seeing where they fit out new RNLI boats, in the evening nearly 40 of us met for a lovely meal, it is always lovely to have these socials to catch up with everyone.

The winter months are usually our quietest, however we have been very fortunate that we have been busy with winter refurb work, insurance claims and a new Longboat to keep us going well into the new year.

I am wondering how I managed to work between all of this going on, but I did. The only down side was less sailing this year, even though it would have been nice to be out on the water, other things always crop up, however I have had over 21,000 page views on my blog in less than four years.

I have learned a lot this year especially, make the most of every day you have, live life to the fullest and never give up on your dreams.

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Happy sailing

Sharon x

"See you when I'm older" Stewart Brown who sadly died this year.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Family events from a wedding to a sad event


Wedding Day - after less than a year of preparations, it was time to celebrate Lauren and Jamie's wedding, I am very biased and my daughter looked beautiful, the five bridesmaids all wore duck egg blue, which made me smile as it was a colour used on Drascombes many years ago.

I still say the star of the show was my little grandson Kyle, who within minutes of Lauren arriving in the church, proudly sits there and says "are we done yet"


As if a wedding didn't keep us busy, then it was Hannah's turn to become 21. Where have all the years gone too, it didn't seem that long ago she was starting school, now she has left university with a degree, and has started a full time job as a Waitrose Partner, so a very proud mummy indeed.


This really is a milestone, my adorable Grandson Kyle started school in September, he was certainly ready for going to school, and off he went on his first day, all looking very smart - I wonder how long it will last before the collar is out and the shirt untucked.

Sorry not a school photo, but one of Kyle at the recent Southampton Boat Show, proudly demonstrating how he will steer the boat.


For those of you who have not heard, my wonderful father-in-law sadly lost his battle with cancer.

Stewart to me was my Drascombe encyclopedia,  I never planned on working at Churchouse Boats, it happened when he was very ill in hospital nine years ago, just by answering the phone, I then ended up with a job from it, and I have never looked back.

When Stewart wanted to retire in 2013, there was no other choice but to buy the company, I always enjoyed 'Stewart's company at boat shows, as there was always always a story to tell or a useful tip to try and remember.

The past two years meant there was less sailing than he had hoped, yet it did not stop him from joining in at Drascamp in 2016, and then being part of the flotilla sailing down from Ashlett Creek to Weymouth for the Drascombe Golden Jubilee.

This year, Stewart enjoyed two of his most enjoyable sails, both in fantastic weather and great company.

Sadly mid July Stewart's health started to deteriorate and he had more bad days than good. At the beginning of September he was admitted to The Countess of Brecknock Hospice

The Drascombe community have lost one of the best, right or wrong, Stewart only wanted the best for both Drascombe boats and their owners, those boots are going to be too big for me to fill!

I still remember sitting at Chichester when Hannah spoke to you and called you "Grampa", you replied "my name is Stewart", Hannah piped up " you will always be Grampa to me"

Thank you Stewart for everything, however Hannah is right, to Lauren, Jamie, Hannah, Kyle and me, you will always be Grampa xx


Saturday, 21 April 2018

Start of the new year - London and Dusseldorf Boat Shows

The new year started to be one busy one before we got to the end of 2017.

After Christmas, I come down with flu and a chest infection which set me back a few days, meaning I was catching up with work just days before leaving to go to London.

This year we decided to have larger stand and take both a Drascombe Lugger and Coaster. The Lugger had already been sold, while the Coaster was a four and a half year old one, which people thought was a new one. It goes to show what a great job the men do in the workshop to make a boat into a show boat.

London Boat show was different this year, with the decision made to make it a five day show, there were some grumble between exhibitors. Personally, I love the London show, why? Because you do not have to worry about the weather at all.

For the fourth year, I was joined for the duration by Dick Pizey, it does seem to be a good working team, I often say "Brains and Beauty" but we can never agree on who has what.

The first day went very quickly, we were joined by friends Ian and Glenys who were as always happy to help on the stand if needed.

We left the show quite promptly as we were meeting fellow exhibitors to attend the Marine Trade Awards event at Canary Wharf.

Jeff and Rob joined Dick and myself to have a quick drink to start the evening we then headed off in a taxi for a fun filled evening, it is not often I get the chance to dress up, so I made the most of it.

On arriving at the Pearson Room at Canary Wharf, the room was full of around 160 other people who wanted to be part of this event.

Sitting down to a lovely three course meal, between each course there was presentation of awards, the Chairman Paul Martin from BHG Marine presented the awards.

The Woman in Business Award went to my dear friend Suzanne from Barton Marine, and was very much deserved.

The evening rounded off with a free casino, now, I have to say I am not really a gambler, but as it was fake money, why not join in and have some fun. We were all given £100 to cash in, so off to the table I went, I preferred roulette so stayed there for the evening, I seems to be doing quite well, and then heard there was a trophy for the person with the most amount at the end of the evening, so as it had gone past midnight, I counted my chips and placed them all on black £2,400 to be exact, waiting for the ball to land, I closed my eyes, only to open them and find it had landed on red. Oh well, you can't win them all can you.

What a great way to end the first day of the boat show.

Waking up and feeling a tad tired, off for the second day, today Simon along with Lauren, Jamie and Kyle visited us today. I do love having my family come along and be part of the show.

During the five days we enjoyed seeing the usual boat show visitors, along with meeting some new Drascombe owners. Having two of us there, we had time to talk to other visitors who were very much interested in our boats, along with talking to owners about replacement spares.

Soon the five days were over, my first thoughts were that I wanted it to carry on, as it is always so nice to talk to owners old and new, however the five days drew in a lot of people, so all in all it was worth it.


Getting back from London on the Monday gave me a few days at home before then flying out to Germany to visit Boot Dusseldorf, not that I need to explain about the boat show as it is the biggest one in Europe.

Once arriving in Dusseldorf we check into our hotel, the Lady Astor is certainly one I would recommend to anyone, lovely comfortable rooms, great selection of breakfast food, and local to both the train and the old town.

Saturday morning after breakfast, Dick P and I head to the train station, our entry ticket of 15 euros also includes travel for the day around the city. We arrive at BOOT to the largest exhibition centre I have ever seen. We head to hall 13 as we wanted to concentrate on the areas with sailing boats, it was certainly and eye opener to see so many different boats, the show is far greater than the London Boat Show and it is no wonder why, every water sport imaginable is exhibited there.

We walked around the halls which were of interest to us, as well as catching up with some friends who exhibited there.

Once our visit to the show was over, we headed to the only shop you have to visit in Germany, Steiff. After a lovely long walk, we found the shop and I managed to buy what I wanted for that special little man.

We then headed into the old town and had a meal before meeting up with friends, we headed to one of the pubs and spent an interesting a lively evening listening to a pub singer.

The beer was flowing very quickly and so was the G&Ts.

Sunday was spent having probably the best breakfast I had ever had at Schwan Restaurant, where it is an all you eat breakfast buffet for 13 Euros.

After breakfast we had an enjoyable stroll around Aldstadt which was lovely, the weather was good for us, and it was lovely to see something different than exhibition halls.

Monday we caught our flight back home after an enjoyable few days, where we certainly had our eyes opened to a different boat show, and what one should look like.


A couple of months ago I contacted the RYA sailability people asking if it would be possible to attend the conference which they hold every year. We last went about five years ago, so I thought it would be good to attend again.

We collected the last Drascombe Longboat which we built for Queen Mary Sailability last year, and took her to be on display outside of the centre.

Zingaroo looked lovely with all the sails up and us well admired.


During the day there were a number of workshops being put on, I was lucky to join in on two of them, while Dick went to another one.

It was certainly interesting to talk to groups who use our boats and to get their feedback. The Drascombe is certainly a boat used by many sailability groups.

During the day, it was good to put faces to names of people who I have spoken too over the years, and to meet new groups who were showing an interest in getting funding for a Drascombe for their own group.

All in all, the first part of the year have been very exciting, and I am looking forward to what the rest of the year brings.

Here's to a good sailing year

Sharon x