• Across The Atlantic In A Washing Tub: Tom McNally Passes The Bar



    'Crazy sailor' who quit teaching job to cross Atlantic in a washing machine dies aged 77
    Tom McNally raised hundreds of thousands for cancer charities



    Tom McNally a former fine arts lecturer from Kirby prepares to set a new world record by sailing the Atlantic Ocean in a boat less than four feet long. He will sail from the Bay of Gibraltar in his specially designed boat Vera Hugh 2 with his pet tarantula Anita for company.


    A legendary teacher who quit his job to cross the Atlantic in a tiny boat made from a wardrobe and washing machine has died of cancer at age 77.

    Tributes have been paid to Tom McNally who was affectionately known as ‘crazy sailor’.


    He became the first man to make the 5,500 mile voyage in a craft smaller than himself in 1993, has died aged 77, following a battle with cancer.



    The Kirkdale native raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for cancer charities during his sailing career and has been described by his daughter Lorraine as “living more in one year than most people live in a lifetime.”

    Lorraine, 54, said: “My dad was an absolutely incredible man, some of the stories he told were unbelievable, he had such a fulfilled life.

    “He was a very clever, kind and loving man and would do anything for anyone.

    “Over the years he must have raised hundreds of thousands for cancer charities and I’m just so proud to be his daughter.

    From a young age Tom loved the sea and after buying his first boat, he set sail for the West Indies with little sailing experience - finally ending up in Brazil.

    Over the next few years Tom made four straightforward crossings of the Atlantic, working towards his dream of beating the world record.

    During his career Tom was picked up by a large Russian trawler after damage to his 6ft boat, refusing to leave his craft, Tom tied himself to the mast and persuaded the Russians to hoist the boat onboard with him, in incredibly stormy seas.


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