Classic Boat


According to Bride magazine, the top 10 items to put on a wedding list are: cutlery, saucepans, china, champagne, a toaster, bedding, a barbecue, an overseas holiday, a map in the shape of a heart, and a speaker in the shape of a dog.

Aaron and Abbie Ashton were having none of this. Their wedding list read: “Let’s buy a boat! We don’t need or wish for lots of ‘stuff’ but as you all know we love the water and feel it is only natural that we should eventually have a boat. So, rather than gifts let’s see what we can achieve to set sail on the seas – will it be a bathtub toy, a dinghy or a yacht? Whatever it is, you will always be welcome aboard! Donate (or not) as you wish.”

By chance, a friend stuck the note on their fridge door and a mutual friend spotted it. The mutual friend, former radio engineer Michael Clark, happened to own a 46ft ketch called Heron II, which Aaron and his family had visited when he was just six years old. At the time, the boat was out of the water having a spring refit, but Michael had shown Aaron and his sister around, and the siblings had even helped varnish the yacht’s mast. Aaron never went on the boat again at that time, but the visit made a strong impression him and even now he traces his love of sailing to that single childhood experience.

Sailing was an easy

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