Eric Forsyth - Cruising

Rest in Peace Captain Eric Forsyth 1932 – 2023.

Fair winds to a legendary man!

Hello friends. This is Eric’s daughter Brenda and his son Colin. Captain Eric passed away on August 22, 2023 peacefully at his home in Brookhaven, New York, following a short illness.

Eric didn’t want a service, so we suggest having a Fiona cocktail Fiona Cocktail Recipe (Eric’s recipe: 1 part Mount Gay rum, 2 parts apple juice (chilled- no ice), squeeze of lemon) or a happy hour toast in his honor.

We hope you continue to check out the adventures of Yacht Fiona and Captain Eric Forsyth. He sailed around the world and over 300,000 nautical miles on a 42 foot yacht.


Eight bells for ocean sailor Eric Forsyth
by Katy Stickland

September 7, 2023

Blue Water Medal winner Captain Eric Forsyth, who circumnavigated the world twice, and rounded Cape Horn four times in his yacht, Fiona, has died.

Eric Forsyth, who spent 50 years cruising the world’s oceans, most of them aboard his Westsail 42, Fiona, has died, aged 91, after a short illness.

The skipper, who was born in England before emigrating to Canada in 1957 and then to the USA in 1960, was a recipient of the Seven Seas Award, and a Blue Water Medal Winner for his 2000 cruise to the Antarctic circle on the Peninsular at 67°S.

He also completed two circumnavigations of the world aboard Fiona – one westabout via the Panama Canal and one eastabout via Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn.

Eric Forsyth happy aboard his 42-foot cutter, Fiona. Credit: The Forsyth Family

Born in Bolton in 1932, Eric Forsyth went to Bolton School before attending Manchester University on a small scholarship in the 1950s, where he joined the University Air Squadron; after graduation, he became a fighter pilot flying Meteor Mark 8 Fighters.

In 1957, he emigrated to Canada. His then-girlfriend, Edith, followed him and the couple married in Toronto.

Eric completed his BS degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Toronto, before he and Edith were recruited to work at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island, New York State.

Living and working on Long Island meant easy access to the sea and boats, and Eric began sailing, learning on a 16ft plywood yacht.

This was soon exchanged for True Rocket, a 23-foot yacht with a small cabin and inboard engine.

His love for offshore cruising came in 1964 after he and Edith crewed on a friend’s 46-foot home-built cutter – it was their first Atlantic crossing.