From the Editor: December 2005

One of the things I love most about motorboating is that it brings out the spirit of adventure in all of us...

One of the things I love most about motorboating is that it brings out the spirit of adventure in all of us and this month the mag is packed with it. The world is becoming so safe and sanitised that the trickiest decision some people take is whether to have a latte or a frappuccino on their way into work. Worse still, when they burn their tongues on their beverage of choice, the automatic response is to sue the café for daring to serve it too hot.

You won’t find any motor boat owners falling into this category. The very act of putting to sea requires an innate acceptance of the risks involved and the responsibility which it infers upon the skipper. Even the most routine of trips across the Solent requires a certain degree of forethought and skill. Which makes Neil McGrigor’s recent record-breaking run around Great Britain in just over 27 hours seem all the more astonishing. When you are averaging over 60 knots hour after hour, the potential for disaster is huge and even the act of having a pee becomes a challenge. You can find out how he and his team coped in their nerve-wracking story on page 64.

The second of our Thrills & Spills special reports on page 84 also involves an exceedingly fast powerboat not to mention two blokes on a jetski and a pair of 14ft Zapcat inflatables. Nothing so unusual about that until you learn that the duo on the jetski were wearing tuxedos and the entire motley crew were ‘racing’ from London to Deauville in an unofficial Gumball Rally on water. You may not approve of their high-jinks antics but you can’t deny they’ve got some va-va-voom.

The third in our trio of adrenaline-packed stories concerns a subject that will no doubt be close to the heart of Gumballers and record-breakers alike, not to mention every other boater who has ever felt their pulse rate quicken. The RNLI regularly put to sea when most of us wouldn’t even leave the house. Gale force winds, raging seas and treacherous navigational hazards are their stock in trade and the new Tamar class of boat is built to survive the worst of them. But would it survive the scrutiny of the battle-hardened RNLI coxswains? We cadged a lift with them to find out for ourselves.



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