#mikebalmforth – With the death on 2 December of Mike Balmforth, Ireland and Scotland lost a powerful voice for leisure sailors.
Mike was born in Belfast and learned to sail on Strangford Lough. He became a deputy editor of Yachting Monthly in the 1960s, and went on to be boatbuilder, sparmaker, yachtbroker and chandler, and marine author, editor and publisher. He edited the Clyde Cruising Club's Journal and founded The Yachtsman's Almanac and Welcome Anchorages.
Mike co-founded the Scottish Boating Alliance, which allowed marine leisure interests to speak with one strong voice to Government. His knowledge, vision, administrative skills and ability to inspire trust gave him and the SBA great authority, and the model he developed has been recommended for marine leisure development planning in Ireland.
He was a member of the Irish Cruising Club for 46 years, and made a major contribution as a director of the Club's publications arm and co-author of Cruising Ireland.
He had many boats of his own, but his masterpiece was his beautiful Dawn 39 Greenheart, which he fitted out himself from the mouldings. With his family – all dedicated sailors - he cruised Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain and the Baltic.
Mike is survived by his wife Alison, sons Robin and Des, and three grandchildren.