PBO's YouTube aficionado Kass Schmitt recommends Sailing Trilleen for "poetic, enlightening and informative" sailing videos

Sailing Trilleen is the YouTube channel of Ian Wyllie, a disabled 43 year old from Southampton who set off from Cowes on August 15 to sail solo around Britain and Ireland.

Ian suffered a spinal injury while serving in the Royal Navy, which eventually resulted in him spending seven years in a nursing home. He credits the Andrew Cassell Foundation, a Cowes based charity dedicated to helping disabled people find independence on the water as sailors, with helping him regain his independence off the water as well.

Ian starts his story from just after acquiring his 1979 Vancouver 27 and embarking on an extensive refit, or, as he calls it, their mutual rehabilitation.

He takes us through all the work required, not just to make the boat fit for the very challenging course he has planned, but to make it work for his own particular needs, as a solo skipper with limited mobility and ongoing medical requirements.

Well worth a look

As I write, he has posted 27 episodes, the last four of which cover his circumnavigation as far as Galway Bay. The sailing videos in particular are beautifully shot, by turns poetic, enlightening and informative.

His narration, both on and off camera, is clearer and more professional than I’ve seen from any other sailing YouTuber, apart from the ones who were actually broadcast journalists in their former lives.

In the latest episode we get to join him on a visit to Charles Fort in Kinsale, from where he shares his appreciation of the accessibility alterations that have been made to the site. Later, as he approaches the Fastnet Rock and briefly comes into mobile signal, he learns of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s death and immediately sets to work making mourning bands for his ensign.

If that’s not a ‘thought of absolutely everything’ level of preparedness, I’m not sure what is!

Ian is currently in Oban, preparing to transit the Caledonian Canal to Inverness, where he will base Trilleen for a winter refit before returning to Oban in the spring to complete the second half of his circumnavigation, which will take him north of the Shetlands.

In the meantime, he will continue his important work raising awareness and funds for the Andrew Cassell Foundation through talks at yacht clubs around the country, as well as consulting on sailing accessibility for stakeholders such as clubs, harbours and rehabilitation professionals.