Stuart RNLI

21st April 2020

Penarth

Boatfolk stories: Stuart Jones

Boatfolk Hero

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a chartered civil engineer, with a background in the Royal Engineers and port and marine engineering.  I’ve worked overseas and all around the UK.  As a consultant I worked on the design of the Cardiff Bay Barrage and then moved to the Cardiff Harbour Authority to the run the Barrage for its first five years.  My sailing experience goes back to racing Mirrors and Lasers as a teen.  I raced for the army team and worked my way around Australia sailing and racing.  I taught my wife to sail in a classic Flying Fifteen on Cardiff Bay, and we were national champions twice in the Classic fleet.

When and why did you choose to work at our marina?

I joined the marina in 2005.  The role gave me a lot of autonomy to manage the small team and I really liked what I saw in Quay as a company.  I live in Penarth and the job gives me an ideal opportunity to combine my management and engineering skills in an enviable environment.

Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you?

I’ve recently retired from the RNLI, where I was a crew and helmsman for over 15 years, and then took the role of launching authority at Penarth for a further five years

When and how did you get into the marine industry/boating?

I’ve loved the sea all my life and so all my jobs have gravitated towards the water. Since joining the marina in 2005, I’ve become a Certificated Marina Manager, treasurer of British Marine Wales and of the TransEurope Marinas.

What is a typical workday like?

There isn’t a typical day.  Every day is different and that’s what I love about the job.  You never know what you’ll walk into each morning.  There is so much to do – whether its financial, managerial, maintenance, customers, health and safety, or operational.  Our customers are often here for leisure, so it is a very sociable job.

What do you like most about your job?

I love the variety of the role and the fact that whatever I’m doing it’s invariably next to the water and in a fantastic location.

What’s been your fondest memory as an employee of ours?

I’ve loved working with the small team at Penarth.  They are a diverse bunch with a great work ethic and a desire to do the right thing.  We have fun in work, and I appreciate I’m lucky to be able to say that.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

My wife and I spend most evenings and weekends driving the kids to sporting activities.  To be fair, we enjoy watching them so it’s not a chore and the matches can be really exciting.  If not on taxi duties I love to be out cycling, either on the road or up a mountain.

What is your ultimate dream/goal?

To live a happy and healthy life.

What is the one thing that makes you feel the most alive?

Being on the water.  Windsurfing in big waves really needs concentration and is the perfect escape.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Find my wife earlier.

Boating can be deemed an expensive hobby/sport, what would your tips be for someone who is looking to get afloat?

It doesn’t need to be expensive. Start with something simple and affordable like a dinghy or kayak.  If you get the bug then you can work your way up to something bigger.  Don’t go too big too soon!  

Related stories