About Me

About Me

River Orwell Sailing

At the helm during a cruise down the River Orwell, UK

Mr John-Kenneth D. Habbershaw

I have had an interest in sailing for 25 years and grew up at a British seaside resort. I have a passion for leisure activities on the water including sailing, motorboats, dinghies, rowing, and kayaks/canoes. I have a particular interest in Micro-cruisers, Ocean Rowing Boats, and Shanty Boats.

I was fortunate to spend several years in Australia where I had the opportunity to sail on a Maxi Yacht, and motor on the River Murray.

I have supported and surveyed numerous Ocean Rowing Boats for the Atlantic CampaignsTalisker Whiskey Challenge Atlantic Ocean race. This has mostly consisted of survey work, but I have also carried out re-wires, equipment upgrades, provided technical advice, and aided with inspections and scrutineering. I have made good contacts and working relationships with builders and equipment specialists in the Ocean Rowing Market. I am proud that several of the boats/teams/builders I have supported have gone on to finish in top positions; some of them setting new race/world records in the process.


  • DipMarSur(YSC) – Diploma in Marine Surveying (Yacht and Small Craft) from the IIMS (International Institute of Marine Surveying). With the following six specialities: GRP/FRP Vessels, Wood Vessels, Steel Vessels, Rigging, Yacht and Small Craft Engineering, Valuations.
  • BMET – British Marine Electrical Technician – working to BMEEA Code of Practice (the UK industry recommended standard).
  • MEI – Marine Electronics Installer – working to NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association USA) recommended standards.

Other Relevant Certifications:

  • Boat Operators Marine Licence – Australia
  • RYA – Competent Crew
  • RYA – Day Skipper (Practical)
  • RYA – PowerBoat Level 2 Coastal (RIB and Displacement)
  • RYA – Marine Radio (SRC)
  • RYA – First Aid At Sea
  • City and Guilds (C&G) – AutoCad 2D  Level III
  • SafetyMen – Ladders and Stepladders
  • SafetyMen – Manual Handling
  • SafetyMen – Portable Appliance Testing (also known as PAT Testing)


Continual Professional Development (CPD):

I regularly attend commercial and trade marine exhibitions and boat shows for my own interest and to stay in touch with manufacturers, learn about new technologies, and see the many exciting new designs of vessels and equipment produced by the marine industry.

My highlight trip of 2016  was a visit to the RNLI production line in Poole to see their new lifeboats in the construction stages in their purpose-built production facilities. In 2017 I have enjoyed a trip to Wessex Resins and Adhesives to attend one of their West System epoxy courses and a trip to the Southampton Boat Show.

I am currently studying Yacht and Small Craft Design with Westlawn USA by Distance learning to expand my knowledge on naval architecture.


I have a Leisure 17 Bilge Keel which I am refitting the rigging, windows and electronics over winter 2017. I may be attempting a circumnavigation of the United Kingdom in this boat…. and then maybe a bit further. This project is being reported on my other website: www.SofaToSailor.com.

On my own boat, I am currently in the process of completing a bare hull complete refit of a c.1970’s Thames Marine Snap Dragon 27ft Mk II. The interior has been stripped and I have a new engine ready for installation.

I am planning on drawing up a design for of a cheap plywood canoe/kayak for some fun on the river with friends.


I regularly volunteer some my time and provide technical assistance to a UK emergency service organisation.

I volunteer as a crew member with Adventures Offshore. They are a  sailing charity based on the UK east coast and offer a wide range of offshore sailing adventures to Scouts and young adults. Please visit their page and consider supporting them.