PBO columnist Dave Selby has set a date for his charity challenge that aims to encourage more people to get afloat and raise funds for a worthy cause.

Essex sailor Dave, 57, will be is setting off in his 18ft Sailfish Marlin from Maldon Town Quay at 4pm on Saturday, July 9.

The goal is to sail 300 miles to the Southampton Boat Show, where he will be displaying his boat and hosting a series of talks, to inspire visitors to set sail themselves.

He said: ‘I want to share all that sailing has given me. There’s a myth that sailing is expensive. I bought my small boat in 2004 and it’s given me holidays of a life-time and opened up a world of adventure. Not bad for two-thousand quid.

‘There’s an ever-growing fleet of great, small, second-hand fibre-glass boats and they’re getting cheaper all the time. Sailing has never been more accessible.’

Dave, who suffers from a viral condition called Guillain-Barré Syndrome, is also hoping to boost the coffers of the gain charity that funds research into his rare illness.

Dave added: ‘It’s an illness that affects the peripheral nervous system, and I’ve got an even rarer variant called CIDP, which means the messages stop getting through to my legs about every four and a half weeks. Then I go into hospital for three days and antibodies from the blood of 800 donors literally give me legs for another month. Humbling.’

Dave is sailing up the Thames to London then round to Southampton in small hops as health, time and weather allow, to arrive for the opening of the show on September 16.

At the show he’s hosting a series of talks to demonstrate how to buy a boat and get sailing on a modest budget.

You can follow Dave’s progress at pbo.co.uk/dave-selby and support his charity drive at www.justgiving.com/Dave-Selby-Marlins-Mission.


Dave is leaving from the visitors’ pontoon on Hythe Quay at 4pm, Saturday, July 9. The Maldon Little Ship Club (Hythe Quay) will be hosting an informal reception from 1pm, with drinks and refreshments. All are very welcome.