Leigh Sailors Launch International Sailing Magazine and Podcast

April 25, 2021

Dick Beaumont onboard the White Dragon

Podcast launched to mark the first anniversary of Ocean Sailor Magazine, brainchild of Kraken Yachts chairman Dick Beaumont.

Dick Beaumont and Dick Durham were both brought up on the muddy banks of the creeks of the Thames Estuary; Dick Durham in Leigh and Dick Beaumont in Benfleet before moving to Leigh in the 1990’s, and now living in the historic Old Leigh.

They were both keen Sea Scouts in their respective areas; Dick Beamount as part of the 1st & 2nd South Benfleet troop and Dick Durham of the iconic 3rd Chalkwell Bay troop. That both were unaware of each other for many decades can only be explained by the fact that Dick B crossed oceans while Dick D stuck to home waters. However, like many sailors before them, their tracks eventually crossed in the public bar of the Crooked Billet in Old Leigh, the window panes of which have stared out across the Thames since Drake sailed past learning how to tie a bowline.

Dick Beaumont’s love of sailing has seen him voyage under sail across all the world’s oceans covering over 250,000 nautical miles and experiencing everything that sailing has to offer. Then in 2014, not entirely happy with any blue water yachts on the market at that time, he decided to design and build his own with the help of Naval Architect Kevin Dibley, and Kraken Yachts was born. White Dragon, Dick’s Flagship Kraken 66, has since been nominated for ‘Blue Water Cruiser of the Year’ and been featured on the cover of numerous worldwide sailing magazines.

Then in 2020, what had started out as Kraken Yachts’ monthly newsletter, quickly morphed into an online magazine in its own right. Ocean Sailor Magazine covers a wide range of topics such as sailing tips and advice, technical and equipment, sailors’ stories, travel and discovery and much more, and is rapidly growing in circulation among the blue water cruiser community.

Ocean Sailor Magazine started with Dick Beaumont hiring his friend, fellow sailor and, as luck would have it, journalist, Dick Durham as editor. “It was a no brainer really,” said Dick Beaumont. “He’s a very experienced yachtsman and an excellent yachting journalist with years of experience. From my own experience of being interviewed by him, I know he isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions and delve into the root of a story.”

Editor Dick Durham said: “It was a great opportunity to provide useful and important, unbiased information without the restrictions placed on traditional media by the big advertising budgets of modern boat builders. Once I’d grilled Dick Beaumont and realised his commitment to building what I too considered proper blue water yachts, I was happy to nail my colours to his mast.

“Dick assured me that Ocean Sailor Magazine would stand independently from Kraken Yachts and would be focused on providing good in-depth information about live-aboard cruising and the skills and equipment that are needed for sailing the world.

“Unsurprisingly I was not the only one to throw my lot in with Ocean Sailor Magazine. Just six months after our first publication, a very notable American authority on ocean sailing, John Kretschmer, also pitched in and gave his support on the other side of the ‘pond’ and many other well-known and experienced cruising sailors have followed suit and we now have more than 3,000 subscribers from more than 80 countries around the world.

“The USA now has even more subscribers than the UK, with Australia and New Zealand not far behind. International interest is growing so rapidly that we are now considering publishing the magazine in Spanish, German, Italian and Russian, so sailors whose first language isn’t English can enjoy Ocean Sailor too.”

After a year of success, the team has now expanded into the new podcast which is presented by Dick Durham, Dick Beaumont and a guest speaker to discuss a wide range of the sailing topics, including climate change’s impact on voyaging under sail, piracy and guns onboard, and the psychology of ocean sailing.

Dick Durham said: “The pandemic has restricted many companies' ability to expand, but Ocean Sailor has proliferated throughout and with the new podcast we hope to expand further and entertain, inform and amuse sailors while they are landlocked and beyond.”

The Ocean Sailor Podcasts are available now and it’s opening instalment hears the two Dicks discuss the hows and whys of the inception and development of Kraken Yachts and Ocean Sailor Magazine. It’s out on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify and the Ocean Sailor Magazine and Kraken YouTube channels.


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