The world's most famous yacht: a biography


Dangerous territory talking about the fellow that controls your nine to five life, who signs your expenses, and who sanctions merit rises (I know he will read this!). In other words the boss, but here goes. Paul Gelder, the editor of Yaching Monthly has written a book: Gipsy Moth IV, A legend sails again, published by Wiley Nautical at £25.

I’ve only just seen a copy and so have had just a cursory glance through its pages. But what I have seen has quite honestly amazed me. All reporters think editors are desk-bound, production-obsessed, pedants. But the recall, attention to detail, and ability to craft narrative from the disparate elements of the GMIV project is, not to put too fine point upon it, masterful.

One can admire the 256 page, hardback book, as a complete landlubber. But what is astonishing for those of us who know that the restoration of Sir Francis Chichester’s 53ft ketch, was Paul’s idea and one which he lived with for more than four years, is that – even so close to the project – he was still able to stand back and write a non-partisan, superbly researched and READABLE book.

It is a great piece of reportage and my copy will now haunt me from the bookshelf at my fireside next time I’m stabbing at smouldering logs as I curse the boss for being a nit-picking, control freak who insists on re-writing my stuff!