At over 6,000 subscribers just two months after launch, The Bumbling Sailor has the growth and engagement many longer-established, and frankly more knowledgeable, sailing YouTubers can only dream about...
The channel is the creation of 39-year-old Mancunian Terry Brown, who, after five years of avidly following numerous sailing channels, recently quit his job in a plastic recycling factory to go all in on living the dream as a YouTube sailor.
Last December he bought a 1968 Contessa 26 named Demetrius (by hilarious coincidence, also the name of a commandeered sewage recycling ship on his favourite TV series Battlestar Galactica) and since then has been living aboard, both afloat and in the yard, while he attempts to make her seaworthy before the annual berth in Newhaven Marina expires.
He plans to sail Demetrius to Fleetwood, Lancashire for a more thorough refit with help from family, before setting off to sail the world… solo. Oh, did I mention he has zero sailing experience?
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Nada. Zilch. As in, Demetrius is the first sailing vessel Terry has ever set foot on.
His channel description reads ‘Inept person totally not dying. Probably.’
I would like to quote Homer Simpson and say ‘It’s funny ‘cause it’s true’, but it’s actually not true at all.
The complete inverse is closer to the truth: ‘Clever and resourceful person sort of staying alive. Implausibly’.
With the experience of ten years as an HGV driver and a couple of years living in a camper van, plus a lifetime taking things apart and putting them back together for the fun of it, Terry’s well placed to become a competent, if not highly skilled, practical boat owner.
Whether he’ll make that frequently tricky transition to accomplished sailor remains to be seen, but if he approaches learning sailing and seamanship with the same zeal and persistence as he’s applied to other interests I’m confident he’ll succeed.
In the meantime, thanks in no small part to his charm and comedy genius, he’s already succeeded in building a loyal community of supporters and well wishers, including a helpful anonymous local shipwright (who wants nothing to do with t’internet) and several older and wiser sailing channel creators (e.g. George Isted, a.k.a. ‘the Contessa-Professor’ from Refit and Sail and Rich Thorogood from Sailing Mist).
I would not be surprised to see him at a beach bbq on some Pacific atoll with The Sailing Brothers in a few years’ time.