The Flexisail Team
The FlexiSail Team – About Us
Richard Pierpoint saw 12 years ago that with the emerging widespread availability of broadband the opportunity to establish a viable “boat share” membership company. He became the first adopter of the concept in Spring 2005 through licensing of an American system. Richard, assisted by his wife Sue, wanted to create an integrated approach for access to quality boats, skill based training with a fun social programme as a complete sailing solution. As a result a FlexiSail Team was built to create a relaxed, supported environment in which members can enjoy yachting and motor boating, which is flexible, affordable and fun. Whilst catering to all levels of sailors, they wanted to encourage new people into sailing to enjoy this very special pastime.
They rapidly developed the FlexiSail Team, incorporating their RYA Training Centre, FlexiSail Training (Solent Nautical College Ltd), into the largest and most successful boat share membership Company in the UK with bases in the prime south coast locations of Hamble, Lymington and Poole.
Richard and Sue are without a doubt Europe’s most experienced and knowledgeable experts in “boat share” membership boating. They created the model by which others follow. In 2010 they rebranded their business as FlexiSail in order to be able to give greater personal identity to their business and to be able to continue to develop their leading concepts. In the same year, they launched the iCalendar, the world’s leading and most sophisticated “boat share” booking system in recognition that ensuring a “fair share” of usage was fundamental to any truly successful “boat share” business. At the same time, FlexiSail have increased the choice and range of boats with monohull yachts from Dufour, Jeanneau & Legend and catamarans from Fountain Pajot. Throughout the recession, n the business has continued to develop and is now seeing substantial additional interest and anticipates strong growth over the forthcoming years.
Sue and Richard Pierpoint
Bee Woodland - Member Liaison and Training Manager
Bee joined the FlexiSail team in 2013 as FlexiSail Member Liaison and Training Manager. She is a great organiser, knows her way around yachts, and has a wealth of client orientated experience in the boating industry including seasons with Neilson in the Med. Bee, who is a Yachtmaster Offshore commercially endorsed, owns her own Contessa 26, which she enjoys sailing with friends and single handed whenever she can. Her other interests include snowboarding and climbing.
Sam Pinkney - Office Manager
Sam, joined the FlexiSail Team in August 2917 as office manager and administrator. Sam comes to FlexiSail following a long career with Nationwide and a series of senior customer focussed roles within the group. For the last 7 years her role has been as Office and Admin Manager for a charity, managing a small office, dealing with volunteers, staff, suppliers and clients. We are delighted to have Sam onboard. Having recently moved to the area Sam and her family are keen to enjoy yachting and time on the water, something that they have never had time to do until now.
James Bock - Fleet Manager
James joined the FlexiSail team in 2010, initially as an assistant Fleet Manager helping to maintain our growing fleet of boats. James was promoted to Fleet Manager in 2012 and has gone on to set up robust boat management systems and manage our maintenance team with great skill, dedication and enthusiasm. He takes personal pride in each and every boat we have and has shown that he is prepared to go that extra mile to ensure our members get the very best experience on the very best boats every time. James is also a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Coastal. His other interests include being a “petrol head” enjoying rebuilding and reinstating motorcycles and cars, as well as DIY at home as he renovates his house.
Adrian Thornton – Chief Instructor
Adrian has been part of FlexiSail as their Chief Instructor since October 2014. He joined the Royal Navy at the tender age of 16 and enjoyed an active and challenging 33 years in the Submarine Service. During that time he was fortunate enough to learn, and later instruct, sailing across all three Armed Forces and is now an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and Examiner. Between 2011 and 2014, he was able to combine his passion for sailing with the need to earn an income, by cruising around the Mediterranean with his wife Giselle, onboard their yacht ‘Banyan’ during the Summer, and examining and instructing in the Winters in between.
Paul Joynson - Fleet Maintenance Assistant.
Paul is a keen sailor and loves both cruising and racing and has competed in several editions of the famous Round the Island Race. As a yacht and dinghy owner he also has a wealth of personal experience in practical boat maintenance. For the first nine years of his working life Paul was in the army with the REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) a role which has given him excellent engineering and maintenance skills. His career has been varied and includes running his own electrical repair business and successfully managing the Force 4 chandlery in Lymington, before deciding that ‘messing around on boats’ was what he really wanted to do, which was lucky for us. Paul has previously been a Yachtmaster Instructor, teaching courses both ashore and afloat, and working as a Course Manager for UKSA. He then continued to work as a freelance instructor and skipper for several years. Paul’s other interests include diving, but he is most happy pottering around on the water or keeping his own vessels ship shape!