In a Leisure 17!

Shipwrecked sailor Charles Pickering, 70, is a dare-devil, micro-cruiser who has conned Equinox, his Leisure 17 from his home port in Scarborough to the Channel Islands, France, Belgium and the West Country…but on his most ambitious cruise his boat was abandoned and he was rescued.

Charles had been on his way home from the Baltic, leaving Kiel for Scarborough in early July. But heavy weather finally caught up with him off Spurn Head where he lost a shroud and his outboard engine was playing up after his electrics failed. He set off an EPIRB, picked up by a freighter which transferred him by RIB to an oil survey platform from where he was airlifted ashore by an RAF helicopter and the Leisure 17 was taken in tow to Great Yarmouth by Caister lifeboat.

He bought the £1,200 boat in 1999 and left wife Anne and two children at home while he went off on his lone voyages.

The retired builder from Wetwang, Yorkshire used an egg-timer to wake himself up every 15 minutes while on passage and had planned to take the boat on a circumnavigation!

For the full story see Yachting Monthly September.