About Us

We provide stylish and sustainable access on traditional Norfolk fishing boats under sail to some of the most mesmerising coastal spots, to connect you with nature, slow you down and recharge from a world which is becoming increasingly commercial and fast moving.

A vision

After many peripatetic years as a Royal Marines Officer followed by time as a humanitarian I wanted to return to my home in Norfolk, be with my family and yet still lead an adventurous and ethical life.

A vision emerged whilst sitting on a beach in Mogadishu, after a long week during the Somalia famine of 2011; an adventurous business based on Norfolk's traditional wooden fishing boats and to champion best environmental and sustainable practice including sail cargo. Today that vision is The Coastal Exploration Company.

Our Ethos

The Boats

In 2011 we discovered a Sheringham built 20’ crab boat named 'My Girls', which was then refurbished by traditional wooden boat builders in Stiffkey and so the vision started to become a reality.

In 2013 we began renovating one of the last remaining Norfolk whelk boats; Salford was returned to her original layout and fitted with a lug rig.

Unexpectedly in 2015 we were kindly donated a mussel flat by local fishermen in Brancaster.

The lug and sails were hand made by a true artisan craftsman, Steve Hall, the owner of North Sea Sails in Tollesbury.

Finally after 10 years of searching for a large Norfolk smack, we finally found one in Cornwall, very rotten, but worth saving, she is now over a 100 years old! She was rebuilt by Luke Powell's incredible team at Working Sail and sails bent on by North Sea Sails in Tollesbury.

Our Fleet


In 2024 and beyond there will be many new and exciting developments at the Coastal Exploration Co!

Victorious, a 42' Kings Lynn built shrimping smack has been refurbished and commenced operations. We have established a regular sail cargo route between her home port of King's Lynn and north Norfolk as well as preparing for adventurous charters.

We are always searching for new and innovative ways for our aquatic explorations, watch this space...

Victorious and sail cargo

Our Tribe


Colin; sailor, surfer and designer, he has become one of the companies top scullers and model!


Sarah; nomad: Far East and Central Asia. Allotment plot owner and loves the salt-marsh solitude


David; family man, Sailor, Mountaineer, interested in tides & knots.


Otter Fisher; passionate about wooden boats and currently refurbishing his own mussel flat.


Nick; yacht master, wild life and nature photographer and surfer.


Emma; mussel flat skipper and foraging expert, as well as a humanitarian and DJ.


Duncan; yacht master, trans Atlantic sailor, keen cook who prepares bespoke meals


Edmund; the company Quartermaster and electronic music maker.


George; skipper, swimmer and budding wildlife enthusiast. One of the last dab hands at making willow spears.


Laura; crew member, media specialist and leader of the dynamic Wild East, rewilding East Anglia


Jules; crew member, travel and media specialist and fanatical wild swimmer.


Peter; a long standing CEC film maker and photographer, but now applying his boating skills to CEC skippering!