Our resident YouTube aficionado Kass Schmitt tunes in to Sail Life to find out if true love can help Mads Dahlke finally break his fettling addiction and untie the lines.


I’d been studiously avoiding watching any videos from the YouTube channel Sail Life, as it had gained a reputation for being misleadingly named, which is to say, the videos contained next to no sailing.

Rather, the originator, a chipper Dane by the name of Mads Dalhke, spent a few years gutting and refitting a top, before deciding his sailing aspirations required something bigger, and set out on an even more ambitious rebuild of a 1987 Trident Warrior 38.

That was back in 2016, and it wasn’t until last September that Mads deemed Athena ‘finished enough’ to untie the lines and sail away from Denmark.

In the intervening time he has produced hundreds of detailed videos covering every aspect of his extensive DIY refit, from osmosis treatment of the hull, replacement of the deck’s foam core and construction of a new rudder to the installation of all new electronics, heating and a watermaker.

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Carly and Dom of Sailing Cadoha, another Warrior 38, have found Mads’ videos especially instructive, but anyone who maintains a boat of that vintage is likely to find something helpful.

And it’s not all sanding and epoxy. Along the way Mads’ YouTube efforts have netted him the ultimate fan, a Michigander by the name of Ava Corrado, who, after a four year long-distance courtship, has recently signed on as co-presenter and co-skipper.

SPOILER ALERT: She’s about to be promoted to admiral. A recent episode shows the couple discussing their future plans while making their own series drogue (what better way to prepare for tying THE KNOT, than by tying 900 knots!).

They plan to spend their honeymoon circumnavigating Ireland this summer before crossing Biscay ahead of a tradewind transatlantic passage next winter.

In the meantime, they’re currently berthed in Gosport for this winter, with occasional forays around the Solent, such as a visit to Chichester to use a supporter’s workshop to complete some projects.

I look forward to seeing this channel grow into its name with more sailing. Wishing Mads and Ava fair winds and following seas… and for that drogue to stay in its locker.