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.
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.
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 traveled the world inspecting foreign RYA watersports and holiday centres as far as Australia. He has owned and run several watersports and leisure companies including a fitness club, country park with associated large scale corporate and public events plus a restaurant… but he gravitated back to the sea ‘Because he just loves it!’ He just loves to teach new skills to people on the water – a great communicator. Cooks up a mean plate of queen scallops with chorizo and garlic… 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… loves his sport and spends time on his bike when he’s not injured… ‘don’t get him started…’ Yawn.
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 is presently helping write and deliver the RYA ‘Foiling’ instructor syllabus for both dinghy and windsurfing. Paul is renowned for his friendly manner and good humour, loves the coaching elements and is very patient. Great culinary skills too…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 a few winters… is getting there with his skiing!
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”. His main interest outside sailing is music including playing his many very expensive guitars extremely badly.
Laurent is a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Skipper who 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 and keeping the peace for his local Buckinghamshire team! He’s also an expert skier but a hopeless fisherman – tinned tuna is menu of the day on Atlantic crossings! 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 – because he loves it…
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.
Jamie is our ‘gentleman’ East Coast South African Yachtmaster Skipper, who is now back 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 there 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!
If you are lucky enough to have Vikki helping out as First Mate you will never go hungry. 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 is well known for her warm welcome, ‘knot school’ and ice cold gin with grapefruit when we are safely tied up! She has several thousand miles under her belt having sailed extensively in the Caribbean, Canaries, France, Mediterranean and of course UK. She loves walking, tennis, winning at Rummikub and Cotswold Gin! She helps run a tight ship, leads the group swims, assists with nervous sailors and is a brilliant asset to have aboard.
‘Charismatic Chris’ is an interesting person to have on board as your First Mate with many a story to tell. An ex Para, then primary school teacher who is presently coaching high level equestrian riders in the professional show jumping circles. He 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 a bit of racing and trips to France and the Channel Islands. 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!’
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, race strategist and navigator. He’s wracked up literally thousands of miles in the last year including the Fastnet, round Ireland, 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!
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Heralding from far flung places up north, Charlie might be on the other end of the phone. Qualified as a RYA Senior Instructor, he oversees courses on the water at our inland ‘sister RYA centre’ Datchet Watersports Centre as well as a bit of time in the office and aboard yachts – or under them, during winter yacht maintenance. Updates our Twitter feeds and Facebook. Seems to spend an inordinate time away on holidays… recently had another jaunt around China over the winter period (just after our client ski trip and before the Canaries client trip!)
Rosie Leigh Davies
Rosie also can be on the end of the phone. She is a RYA Senior Instructor – she teaches both disciplines – windsurf and dinghy at our Inland RYA ‘sister RYA Centre’ – Datchet Watersports. She keeps the boys in check… and loves travelling to far flung destinations. Helps out with yacht maintenance during the winter and occasionally we let he out afloat on the bigger stuff… and then takes yet more holiday! Recently had another travelling jaunt around China over the winter period (just after our client ski trip and before the Canaries client trip!). Some life!