Born in Aberdeen, Scotland in April 1963 Derek’s family moved to Malaysia in August of the same year.
After 5 years in Malaysia (and able to speak 5 languages – Malay, English, Tamil, Mandarin & Dutch) our family moved to New Zealand briefly before heading to the Solomon Islands for the next 10 years.
It was in the Solomon Islands that I developed my love of the sea through a father who was a very keen diver and a mother who managed the accounts for the local Honiara Yacht Club.
Diving most weekends whilst swimming and canoeing most week nights.
After school with the local kids, meant the sea was a big part of life as a child in the tropics. Where I learnt to speak Pidgin English.
My first vessel construction was at the age of 7 in Honiara, Solomon Islands. The yard was not well known and the vessel was an all wood construction including the main drive unit.
The vessel was a 2.8m solid wood canoe cut / chiselled out from a single large log. The drive unit was a solid wood paddle cut and shaped from the same log.
The next was a few months later as my father and I assisted an uncle in building his own hard chimed yacht, also in the Solomon Islands.
Educated in New Zealand I continued my enjoyment of the sea and water activities with sailing and a little surfing.
After University (where I studied Agricultural Economics at Massey University) I spent two years working in Management, Design and Sales before heading off on the good old Kiwi OE (Overseas Experience).
With a university friend I back packed across Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and then through Israel and Egypt. I landed my first job as a mate on a sailing yacht out of Eilat, Israel heading for Spain.
I was then hooked on the professional yachting life style and have spent since 1986 involved in the industry sailing to many wonderful places with great people.
Life at sea as a Captain/Engineer finished after the arrival of our first daughter. It was then I moved ashore working for an Engineering firm in Auckland as part of their design and sales team to all the ship yards in New Zealand.
On returning to Europe for the arrival of our second daughter (my wife is English!) in 2004, I was fortunate enough to meet up with old crew friends when I started consulting and working in the role of Owners Representative / Project Manager.