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CAPTAINS PROFILE


CAPTAIN TONY ALLEN is a pharmacist by profession. He has had a distinguished career for 46 years in the profession of pharmacy which started by working for Boots the Chemists. Thereafter he worked for J. W. UREN (Chemists) Ltd and C. E. Underhill & Sons Ltd before going into partnership with the late David TOY. Finally going on his own and operating a small chain of pharmacy's in Plymouth, which is in the west country of the UK. Finally when Tony retired he worked for Unichem PLC as a Locum Pharmacist throughout Devon, Cornwall & Somerset.

Tony ALLEN served as a member of the Devon Local Pharmaceutical Committee for many years. When the re-organization of the Health Service occurred he was appointed chairman of the South & West Devon Local Pharmaceutical Committee. He was also voted to represent the chemist contractors of the south west of England on the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC). This body met in London monthly and negotiated with the government on pharmacy issues, primarily remuneration. This he did for six years until he decided to retire early from pharmacy in February 1999 to pursue other interests.

Tony first got the bug for fishing when he used to fish with his business partner in a 26' wooden vessel called "MALLARD" which was powered by a Petrol/Paraffin Engine. In those early days we used to troll for Bass & Sea Trout at a mark called the "Bridges" which was the remnants of an old anti-submarine net at the back of Drakes Island in Plymouth Sound.

Tony has operated a commercial charter vessel operating from PLYMOUTH since 1976 fishing the waters of the English Channel.  His first commercial vessel was the "BALIENE" a Senior 31' Fisherman powered by a Bedford 146HP naturally aspirated diesel engine. Navigation was by a huge Decca MK21 which could only be hired in those days at great annual cost. 

 

A year later this vessel was replaced by the vessel "NORVIC" a Lochin 33 Fast Fisherman capable of 14 knots cruising speed. 

"NORVIC" was considered very fast in its time compared with the majority of other vessels around, whose average speeds were only about 7 to 8 knots. This vessel had one of the best echo sounders I have ever had, and although a paper recorder the KELVIN HUGHES MS39 was truly a great machine with a z-pack transducer.

 

 

 

Then came M.F.V. "JANETTE ELAINE" a Cygnus 37 with a stern wheelhouse. Unfortunately although very economical on fuel with her Gardner 6LXB engine, she was slow. And so after only one year the vessel was sold to a gentleman in Brixham as a crabber.

 

 

 

The vessel "CATCHUP" was next and she was a 32' vessel based on a cathedral hull powered by a single Ford Sabre 210HP engine. This vessel was sold a year later to Stu Arnold of Brighton who chartered with it for several years from Brighton Marina before purchasing a Lochin 40 also called "CATCHUP". Stu has now emigrated to New Zealand and taken this vessel as well.

 

During the winter of 1989 Tony decided to build a faster vessel with the assistance of Dave Maddocks and Paul Descombe, to be able to visit those offshore wrecks which were out of range of most recreational craft.

The vessel "ELECTRIC BLUE" was masterminded and built on the newly designed LOCHIN 38'  hull. She was powered by twin TAMD 61A Volvo 306HP turbo charged diesels through 2:1 twin disc gearboxes driving four bladed propellers. This gave her a cruising speed of 20 knots fully loaded with 10 anglers plus 2 crew and 400 gallons of diesel "ELECTRIC BLUE" was given her name because of her blue hull and the vast array of electronics and was the first charter vessel in the port to be equipped with GPS.

This vessel had it all and was probably rated number one in her class for many years until technology once again overtook some of the equipment featured on board. Even the control consol was impressive in design, but the radar, echo sounders, navigators are unseen to the right of the picture. 

With the decline of sea angling due to the recession in 1997-1998 Tony turned his attention to another commercial venture, a trawler.

The vessel "RACHEL HELEN" was born and took Tony and  his friend Dave Maddocks a year to build. She was based on a CYGNUS 33' hull with a whaleback and powered by a Volvo TAMD102 turbocharged diesel. The vessel  has a 2 ton hydraulic trawl winch and a 2 ton hydraulic twin net drum to aid the crew. For navigation assistance it has a J.R.C 64 mile Marpa Radar, J.R.C 50/200kHz Color Sounder, Furuno GD180 Color Chart Plotter, Two VALSAT DGPS Navigators, Robertson AP4 Autopilot, RAYTHEON 601 Navigational Plotter and a Sailor 2408 VHF. For safety it also sports a 4 man Avon Liferaft and a 406 E.P.I.R.B and last but not least a Cell phone. This vessel was sold and originally fished for prawns in the waters off the MULL OF KINTYRE, Scotland. It has now been sold on again and is now fishing in the waters of Ireland.

Tony was involved in the formation of the PROFESSIONAL BOATMAN'S ASSOCIATION (P.B.A) when the MARINE SAFETY AGENCY (M.S.A) decided to regulate the CHARTER BOAT INDUSTRY.

Under the Chairmanship of TED COOKE of Salcombe, Richard Linford of Plymouth as Vice Chairman, Tony acted as secretary of the P.B.A for several years. He was also involved with other members of both the P.B.A and other organizations in negotiating with the MARINE SAFETY AGENCY to produce the CODES OF PRACTICE we have today. These CODES are now the standard for the CHARTER BOAT INDUSTRY today.

Since there original introduction is has been decided to harmonise many of the codes to make the system less complicated. Hopefully this will be achieved in 2003 but not at a cost to the operators.

Tony has also been responsible for locating many unknown wreck positions in the English Channel and has also spent many fruitless hours looking for wrecks with aid or a Proton Magnetometer. All of his finds can now be witnessed by looking at the WRECK DATA of the Hydrographic Department (WRECK SECTION) at Taunton. One find of notoriety is the famous FLYING ENTERPRISE SS.

In February of 1999 Tony emigrated to Tampa in the USA., but currently lived in Clearwater. He took his Captain's License with the US Coastguard in October 2000 and owns/operates a Charter Boat "ELECTRIC BLUE". The boat operated from Johns Pass Marina, Treasure Island, Florida and was a TOPAZ 37' Sports Fisherman.

Due to the decline in tourism since Sept 11th 2001 "ELECTRIC BLUE II" was sold in Oct 2005.

Things in Florida have returned to slowly back to some normality but it's taken a few years. Sadly the economy is still at a low and many of the Charter boats have disappeared due to lack of business and we will no longer be chartering.

A new vessel was acquired in 2012 which was a Cabo 45' Express Sports Fisherman "ELECTRIC BLUE III". The Cabo Express was sold on the 1st November 2016. We are hoping to have a AMERACAT 31ft in 2017 or a World Cat TE 33.



"ELECTRIC BLUE III"
 


PLYMOUTH FACT FILE

In 1620 the Pilgrims set sail from Plymouth's West Pier aboard the Mayflower for the New World.

Francis Drake played his famous game of bowls on The Hoe before joining battle with the Spanish Armada.

Due to the prominence of its shipbuilding and military bases Plymouth was a prime target in World War II.

Plymouth is twinned with cities around the world including Brest in France and San Sebastian in Spain.

With a population of nearly 250,000, Plymouth is the largest city on the South Coast and the 14th largest city in the UK.


My Home City Weather forecast.......

Captain Tony ALLEN. M.R.Pharm.S.
Registered Member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain #62419

 (US. Coastguard Certified Captain - TWIC Card Holder - R.Y.A. Yachtmaster Offshore)

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