Robert Simper lives in Suffolk, but has travelled a great deal, usually to places connected with traditional sailing craft.
In recent years he and his wife Pearl have had a second home at Looe in Cornwall. Robert had his first article published in Sea Breezes in 1962 and since then has had countless articles published in numerous magazines and newspapers.
His first book was published in 1966 and he has now had thirty-seven books published. Originally he was published by David & Charles and Boydell & Brewer, but in 1992 Pearl and Robert started Creekside Publishing because they wanted to produce high quality books, both in the standard of research, being readable and well-presented. This has been achieved in having a long association with Lavenham Press.
From early on Robert has been on and off sailing craft. His brief time on the last of the Thames sailing barges carrying cargoes under sail comes to the surface in his books In Search of Sail and The Barge Coast. At nineteen he bought a gaff cutter Sea Fever and sailed across the North Sea. Next he owned the 1904 35ft Swedish customs cutter L’Atalanta for twenty three years and then had the 1896 18ft Suffolk beach boat Three Sisters rebuilt. In 2005 he bought the 23ft Sennen Cove lugger Silver Stream and keeps it in Cornwall. For the last few years he has helmed Jonathan, his son’s, bawley Mary Amelia in the East Coast smack races.
Early on Robert realised that articles about boats require good photographs so he bought a good camera and took his own photographs. Over the last forty seven years he has built up a vast library of photographs taken all over the world and is constantly travelling and sailing to up date photographs.
In the early days information, and news was sent in by readers, but this has largely stopped with the advent of e-mail. However he would always welcome sail news from readers.