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Solo sailor plans Caribbean trip and donation to Sea Scouts

A Londoner plans to sail a yacht single-handedly to the Caribbean so he can donate the boat to Sea Scouts there.

James Muggoch, a houseboat owner who lives in Brentford, a town in west London, is undertaking the mission to give impoverished youths in Grenada the chance to break into the maritime industry.

The father of four described the adventure as an unconventional present to himself for his 65th birthday last year.

He is no stranger to boats. Not only does he live on one, but he also bought and spent 28 years lovingly restoring what he believes to be the last working World War I steam tugboat, which he piloted in the Queen's diamond jubilee pageant, according to Get West London.

However, the last time he crossed the Atlantic by water was as a crewmember on a pleasure boat when he was fresh out of school, so he is not underestimating the scale of his mission.

"At the moment there's a fence between the shantytowns in Grenada and the multimillion-pound yachts moored in its marinas," he said.

"By donating this boat I want to give young people the chance to learn the boating skills they need to cross that barrier and launch a career in the maritime industry," he added. "It's been 15 years since I sailed a yacht, but I'm looking forward to the challenge of crossing the Atlantic on a solo trip. Knowing the difference the boat will hopefully make once I get there will help keep me going.”

Muggoch is due to begin his 3,600-mile trip this December and will donate the yacht to the First Grand Anse Sea Scouts in Grenada when he arrives.

He has already bought the boat, but needs to raise money to buy equipment and provisions for the journey and to ensure that he can cover the running costs once it is in the hands of the Scout group.

Should the trip prove a success, he plans to buy, refurbish and donate more vessels to help hard-up youths in England and overseas so they can learn boating skills that they might not otherwise have the chance to pick up.

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