Topsail Tattler

Skipper Nic Bows Out

by | Mar 8, 2022 | Skipper's Notes

Our primary Skipper and Director of Topsail Adventures, Nic Beck, has been on quite a journey since they commissioned Amelie Rose back in 2006, and now it’s time for that adventure to take a new turn. Read Nic’s announcement here…

It’s now been over 15 years since I sent Luke Powell an email booking his next build slot in order to kick-off the build of what became the Amelie Rose. It’s been a long road since that day (30th October 2006) and there have been many highs and lows enroute. Notably I did not start this process alone – it would probably never have happened at all had it not been for the amazing work and support of Melisa – but since October 2013 I have essentially been running Topsail Adventures and Amelie Rose on my own.

I have of course been helped by loads of brilliant crews over the years – but actually sailing the boat and looking after our equally brilliant guests is really only a very small part of the business. The constant work of marketing, managing bookings and keeping the accounts up to date sucks up much of the time between trips, and there’s always a list of maintenance tasks to complete should any time remain free. Even making decisions about schedules and the direction that the business should be taking seem that much harder when there’s no one else to bounce ideas off.

I feel pretty pleased with what I have managed to achieve with both the business and the boat but doing this on my own has come at a fairly serious personal cost. And so, after over 15 years on the project, and 9 years of doing it alone, I feel that the time has come to make a definite decision as to my future, before burnout makes the decision for me. The current (2022) season will therefore be my last as Amelie Rose’s skipper, and I will not be publishing a schedule for 2023. After taking a break in October, my aim will be to focus on finding Topsail Adventures and Amelie Rose some new caretakers – folks who are ready to take both the boat and the business forwards into the future with renewed vigour and passion.

It’s not decision that I have taken lightly. Amelie Rose has been a part of my world for more than a quarter of my life and our identities have become entwinned. But every story needs an end, and this decision will allow me and her to part on good terms, rather than with harsh words and cold shoulders. I have many other things that I’d like to do before I fall off my perch, and now is the time for me to concentrate on these – leaving Amelie Rose to flourish with her new carers.

It is my fervent wish that both Amelie Rose and Topsail Adventures will continue on with the mission that I set all of those years ago. It’s my belief that both the business and Amelie Rose are in good shape to do so – sadly it’s me that needs to call it a day – but in doing so I hope that I will make the space for me to concentrate on finding the right folks to take the mission forward.

So, there we are… If you fancy sailing with me one last time then do check out the schedule and get booking. And let us all hope for a dry, warm, happy, and above all peaceful summer.

Nic Beck xx – 8th March 2022


Interested in buying Amelie Rose / Topsail Adventures? –  * Find out more information here *


  1. Ian Essex

    Hi Nic, sorry to hear 2022 will be your last year with Amelie Rose. She is very much in my heart and the most exciting and fulfilling boat I ever sailed on! Covid screwed things up in some way for all of us, but in case we don’t meet in 2022, I wish you every success and happiness with your future plans.

    • The Skipper

      Thanks Ian! It’s not a decision that I’ve taken lightly but it really is time for a change…

      • Mike

        What license is required in the UK to take passengers for hire? What is your licensed capacity and your typical day sail passenger load? Not your specialty I know but are you aware of any reciprocal arrangements between the UK and US Masters licenses?

        • The Skipper

          Hi Mike,

          The boat has to have a coding certificate (valid for 5 years) and the Skipper needs either a Masters License or an RYA Yachtmaster (Offshore), Commercially Endorsed. I’m not sure on equivalences but the RYA ( may be able to assist you on that. For an experienced yachts skipper you can just turn up and do the Exam with many sail schools here on the South Coast though most would recommend that you did a prep week where you can get used to the boat, learn the area and also get a feel for the kind of exercises that will be required on the exam. A prep week comes in at about £800 with a good school (ie good boats) and the exam is £224.

  2. Merv Huggett

    Hi Nic, Well quite a journey you have been on. I have had the pleasure of being part of it from Amelie Rose’s launch day in 2009 and 10 wonderful annual trips including my memorable 60th birthday trip with my family going into Yarmouth dressed as marauding Pirates. Thanks to my son David that trip kicked off my traditional polishing of her brass makers nameplate.
    Wishing you all the very best for the new journey you have embarked on. Merv

  3. Jerry

    Fair winds skipper, and best wishes in swallowing your anchor

    • The Skipper

      Not swallowing the anchor yet Jerry! Will get a new boat for me and mine…

  4. Pete Hammond

    Hi Nic
    My on-off affair with the sea was re-kindled with a weekend taster on Amelie Rose and later with a cruise to the Scillies, both memorable adventures back in the day. I learned a lot I didn’t know and a lot more that I’d forgotten. Sadly for me, age and imfirmity have caused my sailing days to be over, but I hope in your new life you still get the chance to feel a deck under your feet.
    Thanks for the good times.
    Best wishes for your future course.

    • The Skipper

      It was fun to sail with you Pete – stay well xxx

  5. Steve Reneaux

    Dear Nic, it’s thanks to you and Amelie Rose that I’ve ended up owning Jenny, a mini Gaff cutter.
    Mel and I were there at the launch in 2009, holding our breath as she was gently lowered into the Helford River, and have always loved sailing on Amelie since.
    As you step aboard and feel the wood beneath you, see the views all around and the experience Nic’s warmth, you know this is the start of an adventure.
    The crew gathers and everything and everyone becomes a whole. Working together, a motley crew is soon formed and before you know it, we’re in Amelie’s thrall, pushing through the waves. Nic will then fine tune us to ensure Amelie hits her sweet spot on all points of sail. Then relax, not for too long but long enough to enjoy delicious food that has obviously been very thoughtfully prepared. Destinations have always been interesting giving rise to that special feeling when you arrive in port. As you relax, maybe with a cup of tea; or something stronger, the tales begin and stay with you forever, Amelie really does find a place in you heart.
    Thank you Nic and Amelie, enjoy this last season and I hope you have time to reflect upon the joy you’ve given to so many people.

    • The Skipper

      Awwwww – thanks for this Steve, I have really enjoyed my time with the Amelie Rose, meeting ay lovely folks (inc you and Mel) and having many great adventures. Choosing to call time on my part in her story has not been an easy decision but honestly it’s time for new challenges…


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