The Swan Trust Appoints Richard Pattison as Skipper

  • Home
  • News
  • The Swan Trust Appoints Richard Pattison as Skipper

12 March 2013

In preparation for the start of another sailing season, the Swan Trust has appointed Richard Pattison as skipper.

Richard Pattison, skipper of the Swan

Richard, originally from the Essex rivers, creeks and mashes, has from his earliest days been immersed in that area’s traditional sailing fleet of cargo carrying sailing barges, fishing smacks and bawleys. He learned to sail on his parents’ small open gaff rigged boat which he continues to own and sail, and on the oyster smack, 'Varuna CK442' which he is currently restoring.

A former army officer, Richard has amassed sea miles and experience during sailing and mountaineering expeditions around the Atlantic and also in both the Arctic and Antarctic, including sailing from the Falkland Islands to the UK. He is a firm believer in the benefits of outdoor education and a supporter of the philosophies and legacy of Kurt Hahn, founder of Gordonstoun School. During his military career he has worked with young people both ashore and afloat, encouraging them to develop skills, confidence and character, so as to release their latent potential and help them realise their dreams and ambitions.

Richard who is looking forward to skippering the 'Swan' said,

I am delighted to have been appointed skipper of such a fine boat and be employed by the Swan Trust which has at national and international level become recognised as an organisation not only dedicated to pre2serving an historic vessel, but also the promotion of sail training for young people. I am looking forward very much to the beginning of the sailing season.

Swan Trust chairman Allister Rendall commented,

We believe that in Richard Pattison we have a very experienced and capable skipper, who will enable us to fulfil our aim of offering sailing opportunities to Shetland’s young people.

Richard Pattison will take up his appointment as skipper of the 'Swan' in April.

The new skipper will have a busy season ahead with short sails with Shetland school groups, weekend charters around Shetland, a long weekend trip to the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival at Portsoy, a two week trip to Norway with Sail Training Shetland trainees and an extended charter in Orkney and Shetland for the Cape Farewell Foundation. In addition, a ten day cruise through the Caledonian Canal and the Inner Hebrides is also being considered.


Want to get involved in maintaining and operating a traditional wooden sailing vessel? There are a number of different ways you can volunteer to safeguard, care for and sail this unique heritage asset.

Learn more

Latest Posts

An opportunity has arisen to join our team in delivering the exciting and important activities of the Swan Trust SCIO - preserving Shetland's maritime heritage and the valuable sail training skills and experience.

Read More

The Swan crew teamed up with the Aith Lifeboat team last night for a towing training exercise in the waters around Aith.

Read More