Peter Franklin - Boatshed
Hi, my name is Peter Franklin, I'm from London, but after 25 years of globe trotting whilst working in the marine business, I'm now settled in the Netherlands with my Dutch wife, and a 40 year old, 10.5 metre Dutch steel motor cruiser named 'First Lady.'
So I have two ladies (loves of my life), but I didn't choose the name of the second one, she came with it from the previous owner, and I liked it too much to change it. (Apart from the fact that it's said to be unlucky to do so!)
I can't remember any time in my life when I have not been involved with boats. My father was professional tug captain on the River Thames, and I spent a lot of time onboard with him as kid. Then, on his two weeks holiday every year we chartered a boat on the Norfolk broads, such was the family obsession with being afloat.
I always expected to follow in his footsteps when I left school, but the age of containerisation was becoming a threat to the future of lighterage on the old River, and I chose to take up a five year boat builder / shipwright apprenticeship scheme, working in yards on the Thames and Medway.
Upon completing that, I joined Lloyds Register for a couple of years working in the Technical Records Dept at their London head office. Thereafter I followed a career in marine technical management, and was lucky enough travel a lot (chasing ships around), whilst living and working in the major ports of Singapore, Houston and Rotterdam.
Wherever I was based, I managed to own a motor boat, and also chartered in the Caribbean and Australia, so I've enjoyed cruising in some great locations. Along the way, I qualified as an RYA Powerboat Level II Instructor, and gained an RYA / MCA Advanced Powerboat commercially endorsed ticket.
In 2006 I fell into the commonly known 'mid-life major change' and purchased a well established Mediterranean based boating magazine from the retiring owner and founder. Suddenly I found myself as the proud (and very nervous) publisher, and editor of The Islander, and living on the Balearic island of Mallorca.
At the time of writing (March 2018) The Islander mag has just turned 21, and is still going strong under its new owner who took over in 2013, when we moved back to Holland.
Since then I've been a live aboard boater in the summer, and a 'work aboard slave' in the winter! I really enjoy both, although with a slight preference for the warmer months. And, I have kept in touch with the leisure marine industry as a freelance journalist, visiting lots of boat shows and nautical events over the last five years.
Thats how I met Neil Chapman, and why I'm now embarking on another life changing challenge as a Boatshed Broker, which I'm really looking forward to.
The Netherlands has a rich and varied boating culture, it's a way of life for many of its inhabitants, with 6000 km of inland waterways, 230 km of coastline, almost 1/5th of its land mass covered in water, and 1/3 of it below sea level.
Everything and anything that floats can be seen here, and it has one of the most vibrant and varied pre-owned boat markets in the world, so there is plenty to get my teeth into!