Catamaran Guru’s Old Salts: Stephen & Estelle

stephen and estelle cockcroft aboard zuri are considered by many to be old salts

We received a call from a chap wanting to talk with us about buying a boat. He lamented about how he is a novice sailor and doesn’t know too much about boats. “But,” he said, “I have watched all of your videos and you look like the right kind of people to help me. I can tell that you are old salts, not models. I want to learn from you!”

Old salts? Really? So, this guy just called us old, salty, and not attractive? Well, at least that is the picture I had in my mind…and the pictures that show up if you search the term online. 

Good news is that I searched a bit further and found that “old salt” is defined as an old sailor or mariner who tells oral history and sea stories. Sometimes deemed a sage within their domain. Or someone who has sailed for many years.


So while we got a good laugh and accepted that racking up more than a few years sailing probably makes us old, we decided to take it as a compliment. Especially since our goal is to share stories and information to help people and to give them the confidence that we can help them. Stephen and I both are very camera-shy, and we really have to force ourselves to do these videos. We are amateurs at best and “staging” scenes is not really our thing. We tend to do things in the spur of the moment and live by the seat of our pants which along with our budding camera skills is not conducive to a staged professional-looking movie production. So we are grateful that the benefit of the less than perfect videos is that we seem real…not paid models.

We also received an email with a similar story of being a novice and being led by videos and the website information to trust that we can help her family live the sailing life. We just loved the email subject: “Need Help to Step Off the Shore”:

Hi Estelle and Stephen,

We are a family from Vancouver, BC , finally at the stage of selling it all and wanting to get a catamaran. We are a family of 5, myself and my husband, my mother in law and our 2 kids. Our family is unfamiliar with sailing (except for my husband). Living in BC we enjoy cruising the Pacific Northwest buy by power boat. What I know of sailing is all from books and the Catamaran Guru YouTube channel. We just love the water!

My husband and I love the way you both are , very honest and straight forward. We have subscribed to your YouTube channel and snooped in you Facebook. Trying to learn as much as we can. There is so many choices out there. We just can’t seem to choose what we want to do and how to go about doing it all. You guy are the first person that we have reached out to for help. We believe that we will no regret it.

We have approximately US$300k-400k  for the boat, that includes upgrades and, of course, having some leftover would be great! Based on what I have told you, is this something that you can help is with? If not, we understand.

Best regards,
Anna P

Now that we know that we are “inspiring old salts” (let’s make that “experienced veteran sailors”), we are encouraged to make a bigger effort and produce videos more regularly (and maybe add a little more saltiness).

The whole goal of Catamaran Guru from the start was to create resources to help and inspire people to follow their dreams. It is thrilling to be found online so that we can help people just like this gentleman to navigate the boat-buying process. With the right sailing mentor and expert advisors, you, too, can make informed decisions about what boat is right for you as well as how to finance and operate it. We hope you will join our community to grow as a sailor and eventually become an “old salt”!

Yes, We Are "Veteran Sailors"...aka Old Salts


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