Last Voyages

The Lives and Tragic Loss of Remarkable Sailors Who Never Returned

Nicholas Gray

Eleven original, moving accounts which celebrate the lives and recount the final voyages of well-known yachtsmen, all friends of or known to the author.
Date Published :
January 2017
Publisher :
Fernhurst Books
Series :
Making Waves
Illustration :
22 black & white photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781909911550
Pages : 240
Dimensions : 7.8 X 5.08 inches
In stock
eBook (ePub)
ISBN : 9781909911932-epub

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Looking back at the lives and sailing careers of some of our lifetime’s finest yachtsmen, this collection of eleven original, moving accounts is just as much a celebration of the good – tales of hope, achievement and courageous spirit – as it is an account of their tragic final voyages.

Included are world-renowned racers, like Eric Tabarly and Rob James, highly experienced cruisers and adventurers, like Peter Tangvald and Bill Tilman, and the notoriously ill-prepared Donald Crowhurst, as well as other famous and some less well-known sailors.
Starting with the sad loss of Frank Davison and Reliance in 1949, the book concludes with the amazing last voyage of Philip Walwyn in 2015 – crossing the Atlantic single-handed in his 12 Metre yacht Kate.

All of the men and women described were friends with or known to the author, Nicholas Gray, who himself competed in several short-handed long distance races, where he met and raced against many of these fascinating characters.

Peppered with photographs showcasing the sailors and their yachts, this is a refreshing look at those who have helped to shape this sport’s history, honoring their lives and accomplishments before detailing their tragic last voyages.

About The Author

Nicholas Gray has sailed all his life and owned 14 boats. He raced trimarans short-handed and has competed in the Round Britain & Ireland and Azores and Back races, winning his class in both. During this time he competed against many of the sailors featured in this book. He has worked in Merchant Banking, as a solicitor and in the petroleum industry. He has also had an interest in a sailmaking company and owned a boatyard specialising in the restoration of classic wooden boats.


"An unusual and absorbing book."

- Royal Cruising Club

"He progresses beyond an account of a voyage to a much richer character portrait, allowing the reader to share both the challenges of these ambitious voyages and what the sailor was going through. The sailors are a remarkable collection."

- Yachting Life

“These memoirs are just as much a celebration of the good – tales of hope, achievement and courageous spirit – as they are an account of the tragic final voyages.”

- All At Sea,, February 2018

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