Tom Cunliffe

Tom Cunliffe

I was a freelance contributor for Yachting Monthly for many years and served under six editors: the late Geoff Pack who accepted my first piece, Andrew Bray, James Jermain, Sarah Norbury, Paul Gelder and Kieran Flatt. All different; some were good on ideas, others I could trust to do a great job on editing, but all were excellent.

The first piece I sent in was called ‘Landfall’. It recounted the night my wife Ros and I arrived in Barbados in an engineless gaff cutter, 42 days out from Rio de Janeiro. I was encouraged by getting this published to write a piece on star sights – astro navigation being the tool of the era for ocean wanderers. This went down well too, to my amazement and the rest, as they say, is history.

Apart from my journalism I have several further ‘hats’ – television presenter, lecturer, after-dinner speaker, consultant on seamanship, and coaching aboard your yacht. Check out my website, and my weekly video blogs at

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Sailing skills rescue SAR helicopter

A crewmember needs a helicopter rescue at sea, an airlift to hospital. You’ve radioed a Mayday and now there’s a helicopter overhead. What next? Tom Cunliffe reports

Tom Cunliffe

‘Every time I sail under a bridge, I worry that I’m about to wallop it’   I once caught an innocent bystander’s VHF antenna with my topping lift when heeled…

Tom Cunliffe

SKIPPER’S TIPS 1. Steer into the seas In these days of autopilots and electronic routes, the natural mindset is always to make the shortest distance between two points. In heavy…

Springing on and off

A length of rope and a fender can turn tricky manoeuvres into a piece of cake. Tom Cunliffe explains springing on and off a dock

Tom Cunliffe

“My luck ran out. I hit more rocks in the next half-hour than in the rest of my life to date” Sitting in my saloon with the bogey stove glowing…

Skipper’s tips: moon tides

Skipper’s tips: moon tides. Yachtmaster examiner Tom Cunliffe with practical advice for all sailors