Hugh grew up in a boat mad house; “The Mirror dinghy used to spend a month in the hall being titivated, which my mum used to hugely appreciate. Especially the great smell of curing resin… I thought this all quite normal…” – prior to racing dinghies from a young age, and then instructing through the long summer holidays.
He writes: “Seriously, one of the greatest jobs ever. Meeting fantastic people, getting paid to have a great time and being able to buy and run my first car – a Brooklands Green Triumph Spitfire. Mega.”
After completing his degree, Hugh headed to the Med. for sailing during the summers and the Alps for the winters, before settling on the South Coast after a pin in the map moment.
“I fell into yacht broking and boat sales, as most of us do, by walking up a pontoon at the right time. I stuffed envelopes, scrubbed decks, showed boats, and then sold a couple! I cut my teeth in Lymington, UK with Ancasta (living on board my mother-in-law’s yacht, and ironing shirts on the chart table for the first couple of months) before moving ashore into bricks & mortar. In 2009, I joined Berthon International – looking after new Linssen Yachts at first, and then moved into the motor yacht brokerage chair, which I inhabited until late 2020.
It was a fascinating period of change, with values and sizes increasing, more focus on the international market, and the growth of our international network. We are privileged to work with a diverse spectrum of people and yachts, in an environment founded on tradition and excellence, with a fascinating history – especially here at Lymington HQ. There are very few marine businesses with so broad a brush and such a wealth of experience amongst their team of staff. Working with high-performance, displacement and everything in between, has been a real joy, and endlessly engaging.”
Since Hugh’s colleague Ben Toogood has flown South to our Palma office, Hugh is now at the helm of New Motor Yacht Sales at Berthon, looking after Windy Boats and Pearl Yachts, and can usually be found in or on the water with his family on CONTENT “our wonderful old Contest yacht” or their yellow Cornish Shrimper PAPER MOON. “I knew we’d made it when we were on the front cover of PBO in her! It’s one of those photos that makes me smile. Sparkling light dancing on the water, tan sails and happy kids – what can beat that?”