I don't know about you but I still get a little glow of pride...

I don’t know about you but I still get a little glow of pride every time I step aboard a British-built boat. However, patriotism counts for little when it comes to parting with hard cash. We may all have shed a tear when Birchwood slipped beneath the waves last year but how many of us actually went out and bought one of their boats? The bottom line is that if a company doesn’t produce the right boats at the right prices, people won’t buy them.

Thankfully we don’t need to make any such excuses for the boats featured in our British Heroes special. The Princess 65 (p58) can hold its head high in the company of Azimuts and Pershings, while our guide to buying a used Sunseeker Superhawk 34 (p144) proves that you don’t have to be loaded to get your hands on a homegrown thoroughbred. I now want one of these so much it hurts just to think about it.

But it’s David Marsh’s world exclusive drive of the new Fairline Targa 38 (p18) that really caused us to whip out the Union Jacks in celebration. Fairline’s decision to launch the boat in Lake Como in Italy proved an inspired choice. Not only did it provide us with a stunning backdrop for the photographs and some unexpectedly testing conditions but it allowed the new 38 to thumb its bows at the Italian boatbuilding industry in their own backyard. I don’t want to give too much away other than to say that if you’re in the market for a new 40ft sportscruiser you’d better start beating down the door of your nearest Fairline dealer right now.

On a different note, we’ve had loads of feedback about the real-life articles in last month’s mag detailing one man’s extraordinary solo trip across Biscay and the trials and tribulations of our new columnist, Keith Foster, as he prepares to cruise his Elling E4 down to the Canaries – you can read his latest musings on p131. There must be dozens more of you out there with interesting tales to tell so why not drop me a line at hugo_andreae@ipcmedia.com.

Whether it’s an adventure into the unknown, a narrow escape, an amazing boat or simply some great advice or a piece of kit that you feel other boaters should know about, we’d like to hear about it. In the meantime, make damned sure you carry a good-quality digital camera with you wherever you go. As the saying goes, a picture’s worth a thousand words.