About Us

Meet the team, and find out why we do what we do...

Topsail Adventures

Established in 2006, Topsail Adventures Ltd. commissioned, owns and runs Pilot Cutter Amelie Rose. Since her launch in 2009 we have provided inspirational holiday adventures to hundreds of people from all walks of life.

We are happy to be a completely independent, owner operated charter company, selling direct to our guest crews with no travel agencies taking a cut.

We are also proud of our ship, and our adventure holidays. We believe them to be amongst the best in the industry, and our crews seem to agree. Over 75% of last season’s bookings came from returning guests or referrals.

Topsail Adventures – Where will your adventure take you?

Our Mission

“To provide inspirational adventure experiences on a beautiful wooden boat.”

“We want our guest crews to get hands-on with the unique maritime heritage of Britain, to experience the thrills of sailing a traditional working boat – enabling them to enjoy living within nature, harnessing her power, and bringing them closer to the elements and to one another as a result.”

“We aim to achieve this in a way that impacts our seas and the rest of our environment as minimally as possible.”

Meet Team Topsail

Nick Beck

Nick is the owner and Managing Director of Topsail Adventures, as well as being the main skipper and instructor aboard the Amelie Rose.

Before leaving the business world to commission and sail the Amelie Rose Nick was a successful IT Project / Programme Manager in the City of London, but in 2009 decided that he’d had enough of “normal” life and ran away to sea.

Nick is a Commercial Skipper & RYA Yachtmaster Instructor with thousands of sea-miles under his feet, and is passionate about introducing people to wonders of traditional sail.

Chris "Spatch" Kay

Chris has sailed as occasional volunteer crew aboard the Amelie Rose since our very first year of operation when he jumped aboard for the St Mawes Pilot Cutter review after bumping into us in the pub.

In 2019 he joins us for the first time as our professional mate, taking over from Jules.

A glazier by trade Chris has run his own firm in the Southwest for many years but the call of the sea has never been far away.

Julie "Jules" Harris

We met Jules for the first time back in 2010 when she was 2nd mate aboard Morwenna, another charter pilot cutter who used to ply her trade in our waters.

Since then she has acted as volunteer mate and cook for us many times and, since leaving her old job as a Graphic Designer for the PDSA, has been our primary first mate.

When we took a year off to complete the Clean Seas Odyssey Jules took the opportunity to jump to a bigger ship (the Pilgrim) but still graces us with her presence now and again.

Adam Cloote

Adam used to volunteer aboard Annabel J when she was chartering from the Hamble River, but now he serves as an occasional volunteer mate aboard the Amelie Rose.

He has many passions; from motor-bikes (he owns several), to traditional boats (he owns one of them as well). He is happiest scampering around on the foredeck when we’re racing so you’ll likely meet him if you come along to one of our racing events.

Adam is a Chartered Building Surveyor by profession, with a penchant for crumbling listed buildings; he denies that that’s why he likes the Skipper.


Missy "Boo"

Missy, “Boo” to her many friends, joined the team in November 2014. She’s a Border Collie crossed with a Black Lab crossed with an idiot.

Although she lives aboard out of season she prefers to stay ashore when we are sailing with guests, stating “I prefer the floor to be the floor, and not keep turning into a hill”.

Boo lists her hobbies as “eating, sticks, and eating sticks”. Her main role at Topsail Adventures is ensuring that we get plenty of exercise by walking us twice a day, she also looks after the mental health of the team by making us laugh a lot.

Rebecca Sykes

Bex first sailed with us as a paying guest when, in 2015, she bought a very esoteric crew of Tango dancers aboard to sample the Amelie Rose experience.

Since that point she has become a qualified skipper in her own right and sometimes joins us as volunteer crew when her “real” job as a renewable energy engineer allows.

An avid sailor she has a multitude of other interests too, and is often to be found baking, knitting or throwing yoga moves on the foredeck.

Amelie Rose

Launched in 2009, Amelie Rose is a replica of a 19th Century Isles of Scilly Pilot Cutter.

She is licensed by the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) to carry up to 10 passengers / crew anywhere in the English Channel (or up to 14 folks on day sails).

Built in Cornwall using traditional methods she has worked as a successful holiday and training charter vessel since her launch, and in 2012 starred in “The Hungry Sailors” on ITV.

Bacchus Again

Bacchus Again is our tender and often the first of our boats that people meet as he ferries them to the Amelie Rose.

He joined the crew back in 2016 after our previous tender (Bacchus the First) disappeared in mysterious circumstances off the Channel Island of Sark.

For a small boat, Bacchus Again is very well travelled; having completed a circumnavigation of the Western Channel in 2018 as part of the Clean Seas Odyssey crew.

They who have also served…

We are also indebted to these folks, who have worked with us in the past but moved on to pastures new

"Bee" Horton

Bee first bounced onto our foredeck (completely unannounced) back when we used to work out of Poole. She declared her love for Amelie Rose immediately and proceeded to do sterling service as crew for a number of years.

Bee is also an excellent sail-maker and it was this that finally pulled her away, when she set up the awesome Bees Sail Repairs a few years back.

We still see Bee lots though, and she’s still our go to gal when Amelie’s canvas needs some attention.

Steve Hall

After Melisa realised that crewing aboard a chart boat wasn’t for her back in 2010 Steve was the man that stepped into the role as it coincided with him finding himself at a loose end.

A hugely knowledgeable traditional boat sailor, awesome musician, bodger extraordinaire (that’s a good thing on a boat btw) and all round good egg, he is responsible for many of the little systems that make life easier aboard the Amelie Rose.

He left us when he found love in Wales. Sob – we miss you Bro!

Bacchus (the First)

Born October 2015, missing (presumed abducted) June 2016 Bacchus was named after the Roman god of (amongst other things) wine.

We got him when we moved Amelie Rose to Beaulieu River as our mid-stream pontoon means that we needed a tender capable in all conditions and large enough to ferry the crew and all their kit without too many shuttles back and forth.

He disappeared mysteriously from Amelie Rose’s stern one night when we were anchored off Sark, leaving us nothing but photographs and his painter to remember him by.

Melisa Collett

Melisa was Nick’s partner (in life and in crime) when the idea for Amelie Rose was first hatched. Nothing that we do now would be possible if it wasn’t for the hard work and genius that she put into the venture.

Melisa was the mate for the first season of adventures on Amelie Rose but sadly discovered during that year that the life of a charter crew was not for her.

She continued to work in the office for a few years but eventually the amount of time that they were spending apart took it’s toll and Nick and Melisa went their separate ways.

What people say:

Let's stay in touch...

Topsail Adventures Ltd

Phone: +44 (0)800 773 4264

Email: ahoy@topsail-adventures.co.uk

Post: Amelie Rose, Harbour Office, Bucklers Hard Yacht Harbour, Beaulieu, Hampshire, UK. SO42 7XB.

Registered Company Number: 6000046

VAT Registration No. 898-7989-03

Site design by Topsail Adventures Ltd. © 2019 Topsail Adventures Ltd.

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