Extracts from a Sailing Life.

Paul Constantine (with son Arran)

Author of the Practical Sailing books.

Started sailing at Oulton Broad in the 1960s and then cruised and raced from Woodbridge, Suffolk, where he lives. He slowly graduated from dinghies to cruisers. As a teacher of technical subjects he designed, constructed, repaired and maintained all systems on all manner of craft from canoes, through traditional wooden craft, to 35ft GRP yachts.


He has sailed north to Oslo in Norway, south to La Coruna in Spain and many other places in between, from St Kilda in the west, through Zeeland/ Waddenzee to Sweden in the East, mainly in craft that he has made himself. He completed a slow circumnavigation of Britain in a four year period visiting most major sites including Scilly, Wales, I.O.M, Inner and Outer Hebrides, Orkney, Shetland (rounding Muckle Flugga), Fair Isle and returning down the East Coast.

Sailing Instruction 

From the beginning he was involved in organising courses for sailing at all levels from Beginner-Children to Advanced-Adult.  He ran adult centre lessons and practical sailing from the Deben Watersports Centre in Woodbridge where he was the chief sailing instructor.  As Secretary and in charge of Instructor training, he helped administer sailing for Suffolk Water Sports Association (the county educational sailing organisation), then as an RYA Coach and RYA Yachtmaster, he served for a time on the RYA Cruising Committee.


He has had an enduring interest in advanced technical ideas as applied to sailing that led into offshore multihulls, particularly trimarans. The boats that he designed and built explored composite technology and new sailing systems.  He was the Cruising Secretary then National Secretary of the Multihulls Offshore Cruising and Racing Association, (MOCRA, the national body for these craft) for several years. He edited their magazines, going on to become editor of professional multihull publications, commercially distributed from Poole.  In these roles he wrote a great deal about multihulls, mainly for specialist  magazines, giving talks about them, both in England and overseas.  As an event organiser he had contact with National multihull groups in many countries, meeting most of the top multihull designers and sailors of that era, going aboard many of their craft and discussing their designs evolved for cruising as well as TransAt and Round Britain Races.  He has sailed Cats, Tris and Proas offshore and continues to sail a trimaran. 

Dinghy Cruising

He joined the Dinghy Cruising Association in 1995 and modified an old dinghy into a camping cruiser.  Recently, he catalogued the history of the winners of their annual trophies which gave him an insight into the depth of information contained in their 50+ years of publications and their comprehensive sailing library.  This evolved into the idea of blending this fund of knowledge with an account of his practical dinghy experiences, to help newcomers find their way into the activity.  Dinghy Cruising is an activity that has given him as much pleasure as the seemingly more ambitious offshore sailing mentioned above.

He has been a member of his local Deben Yacht Club for over 45 years, from where he and his family continue to enjoy their various sailing craft.


Additional material published in DCA Bulletins

Bulletin No & Page                                                                                                Title/Content description

160/10     Deben Beaches        164/07  Deben Rally.     165/39  The Swale. (North Kent)   169/35 The Mugpancan.  Various uses for an empty can.

171/23     The realisation.  Cold Shock.  Capsizing and wearing a lifejacket.     172/07 Deben Rally.     175/22  Long Distance cruising in a Wayfarer. 

               Report on a lecture by Ann & Dennis Kell to RHYC/Cruising Association.

177/23     The Quaint Boat. Cruise,  River Deben to Walton Backwaters and return.    189/36 A Quiet Night. Nocturnal adventure on the Orwell.

               189 DCA 50th Special supplement. Right Decision Day.

Prior to this point these items are included on the DCA bulletins CD.

Complete copies of subsequent issues of the bulletin ARE available.

191/29     In admiration of Horatio Nelson (Greenwich Yacht Club)     191/30  All that you've ever wanted to know about the Naylor Noggin.   191/41 The first DCA rally.

192/29     Cause for Concern,     192/31  Beale Park Boatshow.

192/33     In search of Charlie Alnutt. 193/24  River Journey. Charlie Alnutt found.   193/32  Land of the Green Parakeets Part 1   194/26  Land of the Green Parakeets Part 2

195/37     In Pursuit of Fun.    199/43  The Swallow Boats story. Peter Bick lecture 2008. Matt Newlands.

200/33     Colour photograph. Alan Barker. Account Pg 12 B. McClellan. Coniston Pg 20 Frank Dearden.

201/29     The Quest for the North West Passage with Len Wingfield. Colour photo Pg 37      202/48 Do you wear your lifejacket in bed?

204/45     Total Thames. The Missing Link. Part 1        204/51 The Missing Link. Part 2.        205/25  Naylor Noggin.  Joan Abram's Cruise.

205/32     The Peter Bick Lecture 2009.  Roger Wilkinson.       206/63 Notification of Practical Dinghy Cruiser.

From issue 208 onwards the Bulletin adopted the name Dinghy Cruising.

208/17     The Peter Bick lecture.  The Lapita Voyage. James Wharram and Hanneke Boon.

209/26     Practical Dinghy Cruiser published.  Image of front cover.    210/61 Practical Dinghy Cruiser sets sail.    211/36 Practical Dinghy Cruiser review. Steve Cox.

211/50     Birds, Broads, and a Bridge in the Norfolk Loop.

212/46     Sailing in Denmark. Part 1 Jeg taler ikke dansk.     213/29 Sailing in Denmark. Part 2 Helpful Havns.  214/41 Sailing in Denmark. Part 3. Fur-Ording

215/34     Sailing in Denmark. Part 4. Tissinghuse.   No95/53  Water Craft. Cruising in Denmark

214/17     The Torch Dinghy. Extract from Practical Dinghy Cruiser.   214/60 Tinkerbelle. Atlantic Crossing & Time Travel.

215          Front Cover & 21-26 Sail Wales. D. Heslop & K. Muscott

216/41     Seasickness A Practical Cruiser's Guide

217/52     Reefing the Sliding-gunter main    218/61 Obituary Charles Stock      219/54  Book Review. MingMing     220/62 Book Review. Letters from High Latitudes

221/44     Reflections on In Shoal Waters