Katie McCabe is just a teenager, but she knows more about old boats than most grownups. She literally grew up on one together with her family. At 15, she is already an accomplished yachtswoman, who has sailed across Britain. Now she’s ready for her next big dream, to cross the Atlantic.
It’s hard to believe, but at the age of 13, Katie bought and restored her first wooden boat. Her father is passionate about boatbuilding, and her mother is a woodwork enthusiast. They all lived onboard a restored classic yacht for most of Katie’s life. The one she would end up choosing was a West Channel One Design sloop, built all the way back in 1950.
Katie had saved money to purchase it, and then gladly spent weeks bringing it back to life, because the old Falanda was in terrible shape after being practically abandoned in a boatyard for a long time.
This project alone would have been impressive enough for a girl her age, but it was just the first step for Katie’s ambitious vision for the future. She didn’t just restore the classic sloop, but also sailed it successfully. She managed to complete a solo sailing voyage around Britain when she was just 14. A year earlier, she had also sailed by herself to the Isle of Scilly. Both times, her family was still nearby, just to make sure she was safe, but Katie was the only one in charge of the Falanda.
Unfortunately, the young sailor will have to part with her beloved 70-year-old boat soon. Katie is willing to sell the sloop she had restored and sailed, even though it saddens her so that she can afford another sailing yacht, one that is more robust and can handle an Atlantic crossing. This is her biggest dream right now, and she has decided to go for it on her own, instead of participating in an official competition.
Initially, Katie had been raising money with the goal of participating in the Mini Transat competition. But that dream ended up costing too much money. This is why she recently decided to return the money she had raised until this point and try something new. Hopefully, this will help her accomplish the dream of crossing the ocean on an old boat faster.
It can’t be Falanda, because this type of adventure requires specific conditions, such as a vessel with a self-draining cockpit. But it will still be a classic sailing yacht, as Katie isn’t willing to give up her love for wooden boats with a history. Hopefully, this new plan will be more successful and we’ll soon hear about the British teenager’s daring Atlantic crossing.