davy jones locker

Some things are just so easy to call and this was one of them. Now I am not against people having big dreams and big ambitions, but seriously this one was bound to fail. This dude, and you might expect this from a Frenchman and not a Brit, this dude was planning to sail across the Atlantic in a three-foot boat. Well, you can hardly call it a boat. Andrew Bedwell from Scarisbrick in Lancashire, England was hoping to sail from Canada to England in the smallest boat ever, a home-built, blunt-nosed thingamajig that had a sail.

It’s 1,900 miles from Canada to England and let’s guess how far he got. I actually don’t know the exact distance but I think that it was around a couple of miles from the dock before his boat started to take on water, and well you guessed it, it started to sink. His yacht, and I use that word kindly, was 3 feet long and 11 feet wide built out of fiberglass with a foam core and was called the Big C. Bedwell was raising money for cancer research and broke down in tears when he announced that he had to abandon his three-year-long dream.

OK, I don’t want to be dick here, (that part comes naturally to me) but seriously, he was never going to make it and in my most humble opinion he was lucky to sink close to land. Ferchristsake the Titanic didn’t make it across the Atlantic and there have been many other more seaworthy boats that have gone down to Davy Jones’s locker. Mr. Bedwell said in a video statement, “Hello everyone. Firstly I am so sorry. We had a difficult problem yesterday. (Understatement – my comment) We got back to the harbor and the boat had basically sunk.”  Well, it went to the bottom so I guess that means that it sunk.

The boat itself was actually quite a clever design. It had 12 watertight compartments and vents which could be opened and closed. The keel could hold just under a gallon and a half of drinking water which could be refilled with a hand crank watermaker.  Big C had twin rudders (in case one broke), dual furling headsails, outriggers, and an A-frame mast. Perfect for a sail around the Solent or perhaps Narragansett Bay on a mild summer afternoon.

I have sailed across the Atlantic numerous times and the weather can get tricky out there, in fact some of the worst weather I have encountered in my 40+ years of girdling the globe has been in the North Atlantic. He didn’t stand a chance, but there you go, and as the saying goes, nothing ventured nothing gained. 

– Brian Hancock