I started work in a small boatyard on the River Medina in 1983, moving on a year later to the school of apprentices at W.A. Souter and Son in Cowes and completing my City and Guilds in Yacht and Boat Building in 1987. I left the Island that year and for the following fifteen years earned my living afloat doing jobs as diverse as sail training, corporate entertainment and ocean racing, culminating in Skippering in the 1998 Clipper Round The World Yacht Race.
Then based in Suffolk, I put one foot ashore and started work in the commissioning department at Oyster Marine, working with the project managers to deliver the highest standards of production yacht commissioning processes and customer service.
I finally hung up the sea boots in 2007, taking over management of the commissioning department at Oysters for two years before returning to the Isle of Wight. I worked for the Cowes Harbour Commission for nearly 8 years, initially managing all the commercial aspects of the harbour’s activities and then moving to develop the site in East Cowes when it was purchased in 2012, managing the boatyard and all aspects of the teams’ activities on the site and afloat.
In 2017 the time came for to break from the Cowes Harbour Commission’s cover, setting up my own business under the McGruer banner and offering the accumulated knowledge and expertise of over 30 years to the market in my own right. As a marine surveyor I offer insurance, pre-purchase and general surveys on all boats to 24m. I am a member of the IIMS.
The links below give some details of my activities ashore and afloat.