Raconteur Tom Cunliffe read law at the University of Liverpool but soon abandoned the Inner Temple to make the sea his life’s career. Working on vessels of all shapes and sizes, He has served before the mast in small sailing ships, skippered yachts for private owners, raced offshore, and taught sailing, seamanship and navigation at all levels.
He writes regular columns for Yachting Monthly, Yachting World and SAIL magazines and is a world authority on vintage sailing craft and traditional rigs. A prolific award winning writer, Tom’s latest opus, Good Vibrations, a travel book about riding the plains of America on a motorcycle in the company of prospectors, strippers and preacher-men, was the best-selling book at a recent London Boat Show.
Cunliffe’s face is familiar with many as presenter of the popular series Boat Yard, currently showing on Discovery Channel TV. He is also well-known for his television appearances on BBC1's Island Race, documenting Tom’s famous voyage round Britain with John McCarthy, the Beirut hostage, and comedienne Sandi Toksvig as crew.
As a speaker, his career has come full circle, with the talents he opted not to deploy as a barrister now barnstorming to the fore. Generally agreed to be one of the most hilarious entertainers on the marine circuit, he also speaks with light-hearted but motivational authority on how to survive storms in the bank balance as well as those at sea, based on his early wanderings as an ocean gypsy.
The Metropolitan Police
“We had a fantastic evening and really enjoyed your tales of gin bottles and sheds! We have had great feedback has really encouraged club bookings. So a positive sales angle too!”
“Just to let you know that folks here are still buzzing about your talk. It almost recalls Henry IV – ‘And gentlemen in England now abed will think themselves accursed they were not here….’
The Royal Yachting Association
“Our instructors found your talk fascinating and immensely entertaining. The conference was a great success.”
Manchester Cruising Association
“Every time you come to Manchester it is better than the last and the feeling is that your visit last week will never be bettered. The temptation is to make it an annual event.”
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