Will Stirling attended Eton College and after studying languages at Edinburgh University trained to be a boatbuilder. He completed an MA in Maritime History whilst building his first sailing vessel Alert, a 37′ smuggling lugger. His thesis covered the design and construction of revenue cutters between 1770-1850 (during the 1780s his very great grandfather, Admiral Sir Robert Barlow, was a revenue cutter captain). He then went on to design and build the elegant 43′ Gentleman’s Cutter, Integrity, based on the lines of the Victorian yachts of circa 1880. Will has also designed and built over 35 clinker dinghies. His family connection to Nelson prompted his voyage to Nelsonoya in 2010, one of five trips to the Arctic in as many years. He is a qualified surveyor specialising in wooden boats.