The Yachtforce Team
See the photos and blurb below for some of the faces at the end of the phone, those that help out with handovers or instruct, skipper and help out on the water as First Mates.
The Yachtforce Team is led by Buster Nixon and Paul Outram. We have a small team of regular, highly skilled and super-friendly instructors, skippers, first mates and handover guys who make it all happen at Yachtforce Charter and Sailing Events. Lots of them have ‘real jobs’ and help out as part of the team at Yachtforce just because of their love of sailing and being afloat – that way they stay ‘fresh’. We have loads of people commending us on our staff team for being fantastic and saying what a relaxed and friendly atmosphere there is. We have professionals, and part-timers that all help out. Their ‘real jobs’ include airline pilots, barristers, physios, writers, equestrian specialists, medical scientists and professionals, yacht brokers, boat builders, yacht maintenance specialists, marine sales people and engineers.
We love to talk – so if you want any advice or we can help on any matter – please just pick up the phone.
Skipper: Buster spent the first 10 years of his life living with his parents and family aboard an old 10 tonne cutter (she was then Bermudan rigged) sailing yacht called ‘Fearnought’ that was built in 1897 by A. Westmacott at Hamble. A lot of wood and varnish! …and damp! It wasn’t glamorous with just oil fired lamps for nav. lights, a tilley lamp for lighting / heating and two ‘pump up’ primus paraffin stoves for his Mum to cook on with a fresh water tank with single tap. (‘Ooh, tell that to the youngsters today and they won’t believe you…’) It was, however, ‘home’ for the family. He got his first dinghy to explore the surrounding creeks and backwaters at the age of 6.
He has lived on and off afloat for many years and he’s never been far from the water! He is a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Offshore with a wealth of experience and has travelled the world working for the RYA inspecting foreign based RYA watersports / holiday centres throughout Europe and as far afield as Australia. He has owned and run several watersports and leisure companies including a fitness club, a country park with associated large scale corporate and public events and even a restaurant plus various ice cream outlets! But in the end he gravitated back to the sea because he just ‘loves it!’ He just loves to teach new skills to people on the water and is a great communicator. He cooks up a mean plate of queen scallops with chorizo and garlic. He is a man with many a tale of times past; windsurfing for Britain, training instructors, working as a ski instructor in the French and Italian Alps, paragliding in far flung places. He loves his outdoor sport and spends time on his bike when he’s not injured…just don’t get him started Yawn. zzz
Skipper: Paul ‘O’ is a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Offshore, Paul was dragged up on Guernsey in the Channel Islands. He grew up on the water, in boats and dinghies of all sorts never being far from the sea. He raced dinghies and yachts from a young age, teaching sailing at all levels. He is also an RYA Coach Assessor (teaching dinghy instructors), a RYA Windsurfing Trainer (teaching windsurf instructors) and RYA Powerboat Instructor – an excellent teacher of all skills. He has run and instructed at several watersports schools – he helped write and deliver the RYA ‘Foiling’ instructor syllabus for both dinghy and windsurfing as he has been foiling since the early days of 2010! Paul is renowned for his friendly manner and good humour, loves the coaching elements and is very patient. He has great culinary skills too… he cooks a mean seafood pie with a twist… loves his windsurfing, occasionally seen on a wake-board, gets out on a mountain bike a bit but not enough… and having skied with Buster for quite a few winters being dragged off piste and ‘back country’ at every opportunity… is certainly getting there with his skiing!
Skipper: Paul ‘T’ is a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Instructor. He heralds from the corporate world with 35 years as a chartered Civil Engineer specialising in maritime engineering under his belt. He messed about on boats for work and pleasure as a kid and started full time professional sailing in 2009 and has heaps of experience in both the Caribbean and Mediterranean as well as the UK. He loves to teach and impart his wealth of sailing experience to beginners and the advanced and loves strong conditions. He recently spent a month circumnavigating Britain via the Orkneys on his 36ft boat just for the fun of it, and is currently planning a sailing trip to ”to see some penguins”. He has a love of jazz and his main interest outside sailing is music including playing his many very expensive guitars – as he says ‘extremely badly’ but to be truthful – he is not too shabby! Recently in a conversation with Buster it was revealed that Paul was once the owner of a chainsaw with a 36 inch chain bar! (that is a monster and we reckon he must have been a lumberjack in a previous lifetime!) Buster apparently, can only wield an 18 inch – so felt very inadequate!
Skipper: Laurent ‘Gucci’ Morlet is a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Skipper and RYA Cruising Instructor who just loves to teach. He also is both a dinghy and windsurfing instructor having started sailing on the Ivory Coast off Africa and then spending much time exploring and racing in South Brittany. He’s French (we don’t hold it against him tho’) but speaks impeccable English. He is a passionate rugby player who spends time coaching & refereeing. He’s also an expert skier but his fishing skills are showing promise with several catches this season. He loves great food and wines (of course he does) he’s French! His background and ‘real job’ is medical science with all the necessary super science credentials coming from the University of Nantes. He works weekends and holidays for us commuting by powerboat from his home on the Isle of Wight!
Skipper: Simon is a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Skipper and started sailing over 30 years ago, initially on windsurfers, dinghies and catamarans. He is passionate about racing, but also loves cruising and sharing knowledge and experiences. He raced competitively on catamarans up to World Championship level and also raced many keel boats including Dragon, XOD, SB20, J70, Sigma 33 and J109. He still races in the local club and enjoys teaching the youngsters to sail. He lives local to Hamble with his family and as well as working on the water skippering he helps run the marina base with the charter ‘turnarounds’ and on site maintenance. You are very likely to see his face if passing through the Hamble marina. In addition to the yachting stuff he is a Chartered Aeronautical Engineer by trade specialising in reliability and safety and has worked and lived in a myriad of different foreign countries including Russia and the Middle East. He often arrives by bike grabbing every opportunity to get out and about on two wheels!
Skipper: Josh is a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster and also a RYA Cruising Instructor. He may be the youngest member of our team but he is a great caring, patient Instructor with a depth of experience and just loves to teach. He has done his stint as Flotilla Skipper in the Mediterranean and recently worked a season in Croatia eventually getting ‘locked down’ on a small Island off the Croatian coast during the pandemic. Born and bred in Cheltenham he now resides in the rolling hills of Wiltshire and works for Yachtforce because he reckons we ‘are the best!’.
Skipper: Steve (on left) is a Commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Instructor. He has been working with us for decades and is one of our longest serving Skippers.. He has a remarkable depth of knowledge and experience and teaches with a quiet gentle manner. He is equally at home running a race boat or cruising with families. He currently works for Yachtforce between his real job running support boats out to the windfarms on the east coast 3 weeks on / 3 weeks off. He lives in France so our Hamble operation is conveniently en route for his his commute home!
Skipper: Tim is a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Instructor Ocean… but wait for it… he is also an accomplished professional Chef! He is still living the dream working the summer seasons sailing and then out to the Alps cheffing in the ski resort of Meribel and on the slopes every opportunity that comes up! He makes us all, especially the skiers on the team jealous! His background reveals he is a professional musician coming from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama! He has loads of experience in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, France, Channel Islands and of course the UK. He is a great teacher with fantastic communication skills.
Skipper: Jamie is our ‘gentleman’ East Coast South African Yachtmaster Skipper, lives in the UK after spending time swanning around in the Caribbean on catamarans and yachts – either delivering them across the Atlantic or putting them back together in the local yards. Whilst abroad he lived on board his own tiny sailboat aptly named ‘Scruffy’ grabbing the opportunity to get on the water whenever he could. His favourite drink is Mount Gay rum – We wonder where he got the taste for that? He has also spent time around the globe aboard those huge shiny ‘Super Yachts’ (ships really) working for the rich and famous, keeping the crew in order. He has a wealth of knowledge and a passion for the sea. He is extremely fit with his personal sports including rock climbing, rugby, cycling, swimming, hiking as well as most forms of watersports. He’s a dab hand in the galley and thinks you can’t beat a good old Sunday roast or a meat pie!
First Mate: Vikki has many thousand miles under her belt having sailed extensively in the Caribbean, Canaries, France, Mediterranean, and of course UK. As First Mate she helps run an efficient tight ship, assisting clients with all aspects of the sailing and is a brilliant asset to have aboard. She has a multitude of culinary delights up her sleeve with the occasional home made apple cake or crumble with thick cream (if she has the time). In previous years she worked as a physio and is still employed in the medical sector but helps out when possible. She loves swimming – leading the group swims when aboard – walking, tennis, winning at Rummikub and Cotswold Gin! She is well known for her warm welcome and efficient seamanship, her ‘knot school’ and of course, ice cold gin with grapefruit when we are safely tied up!
First Mate: ‘Charismatic Chris’ is an interesting person to have on board as your First Mate with many a story to tell. An ex Para, prior primary school teacher who went on to coach high level equestrian riders in the professional show jumping circles and now is back working at school keeping the youngsters in check. He knows how to control a class, knows all things horsey – but also can bounce around below decks conjuring up culinary delights regardless of the weather!
He’s put a lot of time in recently taking to this sailing malarkey and cracked in a fair few trips including some racing, trips to France, the Channel Islands and Canaries. He loves rum, strong winds, boxes for fun and fitness and is a mean skier – but on occasions lets himself down by using those very short ‘ski blade’ things… ‘Chris – sorry to tell you, they really aren’t proper skis!’
First Mate: Stu, our resident Kiwi, is a water baby at heart. A one time fanatical sea kayak guide in NZ and paddler of all things he is also not too shabby in the realms of sailing and other outdoor sports. A RYA Senior Dinghy and Powerboat Instructor, top end yacht fore-deck man and master of spinnakers, race strategist and navigator. He’s wracked up literally thousands of miles in the last few years including the Fastnet race, round Ireland race, various deliveries, cross channels, Irish Sea races – he loves to race offshore or around the cans. A bit of an engineer at heart, his real job is fixing power stations, we really just don’t understand why the lights don’t go out when he’s away from the Isle of Man. Ask him about some of the ‘nutty’ challenges that he’s done on a mountain bike! They are just huge and grueling! Makes you sweat just thinking about them. Get him teamed up with Chris and there are shenanigans to be had!
First Mate: Bruce originates from the Isle of Man where he used to fly, amongst other things, the air ambulance (fixed wing) navigating on his knee dropping into a variety of airports around the UK as the need arose. He trains pilots (in the sim) and now flies long haul for BA helping out on the yachts in his holidays. He loves snowboarding, paragliding and wake-boarding and has a talent for computers and making websites! He has spent a lot of time afloat having a family sporty Beneteau First, helped train a multitude of guys in racing over the years and is an all round useful guy to have on board.
First Mate: Our ‘Action Man’ Ross grew up in Lancashire not very close to the sea or sailing at all! He has a great sense of humour and a really nice manner. He did an apprenticeship at BAE systems and became an aerospace design engineer. For the last decade he has sailed and raced along the south coast, completed an Atlantic circuit which included the bonus trip through Panama and sailed on to the Galapagos Islands (we don’t know many people that lucky!).
If you are fortunate enough to sample it, his mean dish on board is carbonara, taught by an Italian crewmate out in the middle of the Atlantic. He is out in all weathers being a bit of the Yachtforce team ‘action man’ – he surfs, swims, dinghy sails, climbs and regularly does a whole raft of ‘everyday’ activities including yoga, running, hiking, SUP and cycling. He helps out with Yachtforce as 1st mate when he can and our clients just love him – he is Yachtmaster qualified so very handy on board helping teach our clients!
Skipper: Josh heralds from Southampton and has clung around the southern shore of the UK for most of his life growing up in Ringwood near the New Forest. He started his working life in the financial sector, changed tack to become a contracts manager in a maintenance company grabbing a degree along the way in building surveying at the same time. Somehow though, he felt a yearning for the water… enrolled on a ‘Fast-track’ Yachtmaster course, developed with Yachtforce as a Skipper and now maintains yachts and Skippers full time. Very determined and hard working with an easy going nature he is a joy to be around. He loves to snowboard but is gravitating back to the enlightened side of 2 planks on his feet…
Skipper: Graham is our multi-talented and multi-qualified Skipper. He does a complete variety of top end work in the industry – a lot of it teaching RYA instructors and doing RYA inspections aboard super yachts. One day you’ll find him running a dinghy instructor course in a part of the UK and the next he’ll be sunning himself, grabbing at tan in the Mediterranean or Caribbean teaching powerboat driving to the super-yacht crews.
He also teaches RYA yacht theory courses, Skippers yachts of all types and sizes both sail and power, has a blinding knowledge of all maintenance issues – and also does work driving those ‘hoover it up’ dredger ships in the winter! You’ll be in safe and very knowledgeable hands with Graham.
First Mate: Nat discovered a passion for watersports as a child on a RYA sailing course and since then has tried most sports both above and below the water. She’s worked in the watersports industry in the UK and abroad but she has sold out for a career in corporate marketing in the Thames Valley. The water is always calling so she’s often to be found sailing the Solent helping out as First Mate / Hostess / Water Nanny, racing at Cowes Week regatta or the JOG series and then doing the odd yacht delivery in the Mediterranean. When she’s not on the water or in the office she’s off traveling the world and blogging about her adventures. She’s a RYA Day Skipper who particularly enjoys seeing those who are new to sailing find their feet aboard a boat, learning the ropes and stepping off the boat at the end of a weekend as confident sailors.
Skipper: Ian is a very experienced yachtsman with numerous Trans–Atlantic crossings under his belt. He is a fountain of knowledge about all things boating and his friendly, relaxed manner puts everyone at ease. Ian always has time for teaching people and can’t get enough of it. He holds a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Offshore both Yacht and Power vessels, RYA Powerboat Instructor, RYA Advanced, Senior, Race and Multi-hull Instructor. He loves his electronics and computer stuff, science and all the latest gizmos and programmes. We always make sure the catering is taken care of for Ian – he can burn baked beans… Good skier… always spending time in Switzerland… and he has some great stories too.
First Mate: Guernsey born and dragged up on the sea. A very keen sailor and talented instructor that has years of experience racing and coaching. Lived and taught sailing in a myriad of places from Guernsey, UK, Mediterranean to the Caribbean, and recently spent a year in the Middle East running a sailing school and is back to tear up the UK scene once more! He is a skilled sailor with years of experience on various types of boats, a great communicator, instructor and loves his racing… also great culinary skills! If you are lucky he might make some of his home baked recipes.