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Ron Valent

As a journalist with 35 years of experience and specializing in classic yachts I have sailed, crewed, skippered and written about practically every classic yacht in the fleet. I started boating at the age of 9 on the Bremer River in Ipswich, Australia. Restored my first serious boat at the age of 16 when I restored the hull and redesigned and rebuilt the keel and rig of a long-keeled, under-rigged wooden Van de Stadt design making her fast and seaworthy.

Next came the near total rebuild of a 43 foot 1937 Burmester 50 m2 followed by the complete restoration and optimizing of the rig of a 1936 Hillyard that had been destroyed in a yard fire. After that I restored and rerigged a Swedish 8 Metre Cruiser Racer. Imported, restored and sold on various Swedish sailing and motor yachts when the hobby became a business. I have overseen work on several increasingly larger classic yachts since then. Up to 2018 I was a consultant for a large German Shipyard doing merchant, navy and superyacht refits.

Parallel to these activities I worked as crew on charter yachts in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean and did deliveries and world trips traversing both the Suez and Panama Canals in between. As crew or skipper/helmsman I have participated in practically every classic regatta in Northern and Southern Europe, Antigua and the American East Coast in a wide range of yachts from diminutive cruisers to the racing schooners Eleonora and Elena.

I studied history at the University of Amsterdam and expanded this interest to classic yachts and have published a book and hundreds of articles on this subject in magazines all over the world.

I was sales rep for Meissner Classic Winches and later Holmatro where I used my knowledge and love for classic yachts to help design a range of classic winches for which these companies became famous. Holmatro quit the marine industry about 8 years ago and since then I have been hounded by dozens of skippers and owners of classic yachts with questions about repairs, spare parts and their need for new, beautiful, custom made classic winches built to the same exacting standards that Meissner and Holmatro were famous for.

In 2017 I decided the time was ripe to go for it  and so set up The Classic Winch Company. The rest I hope will be history.

I am based in Holland or wherever the classic boats take me.

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