The Golden Globe com­peti­tor

Yachting Monthly - - EXPERT ON BOARD -

Gre­gor Mcguckin, a com­peti­tor in this year’s Golden Globe re­vival race, has bought a Bis­cay 36. Whilst qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the race was a fac­tor in his de­ci­sion, the for­mer de­liv­ery skip­per ex­plains that his boat is es­sen­tially perfect for a race where en­durance and resilience are ab­so­lutely para­mount.

‘I’m ba­si­cally pre­par­ing her with the idea that I will prob­a­bly go through some fairly horrendous weather. Whilst I’d not sailed a ketch be­fore buy­ing her, de­liv­er­ing a Nichol­son 32 taught me a lot about the qual­i­ties of a more tra­di­tional de­sign be­low the wa­ter­line.

‘Add to that how man­age­able the ketch rig is now I’ve run more lines to the cock­pit and you’ve got a yacht that in­stills con­fi­dence – it’s a long game we’re play­ing, so whilst speed is im­por­tant, how well the boat looks after me for the long term is per­haps the big­gest con­sid­er­a­tion.’ With the prospect of up to a year at sea alone ahead of him, Gre­gor is sim­pli­fy­ing ev­ery­thing on board as much as pos­si­ble.

‘I worked as a char­ter skip­per in the Caribbean for a cou­ple of years on boats with all sorts of tech­nol­ogy, but the more you get into the mind­set of this old-fash­ioned com­pe­ti­tion, the more you re­alise that less re­ally is more. I ask my­self, “Is it use­ful?” If the an­swer is no, then it’s off! ‘I’ve de­cided that the heat­ing sys­tem will prob­a­bly come out as well, but when it comes to the ba­sic yacht sys­tems, such as the bilge pumps, I have up­graded. It’s re­ally about pri­ori­tis­ing ev­ery­thing that will keep the boat mov­ing through the wa­ter.’

Gre­gor will be re­ly­ing on his Bis­cay 36 to take him around the world with­out stop­ping

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