Growing up on the water

Caprice Top Hat 25 Mitchell circumnavigation Two in a Top Hat, SYDNEY

In the 1970’s my parents circumnavigated in a 25 foot Top Hat called Caprice.

My brother Jamie Mitchell was born in Durban, South Africa and sailed 20,000 miles as a baby.

I started life in Tahiti.

You can read about my parents circumnavigation in the book Two in a Top Hat. 

My mother has written numerous sailing books. For more info see

HOOD 23 David Mitchells early sailing crewing

My first memories of sailing are on a Hood 23 between the ages of 3 and 6 years old. We did family trips around Pittwater, broken bay and Sydney. We do not have a photo of the actual boat, but this is a Hood 23

Many Easter eggs and hot cross buns were consumed in the tiny cabin during rainy Easter holidays in Broken Bay

Phantom 32 Realitas

My Parents owned a Phantom 32 from  1984 – 1999

I spent most holidays and weekends on Realitas from 6 years old through to 20 years old.

We spend a lot of weekends in Sydney and surrounds

Longer trips departing and returning to Sydney include:

  • Launceston, Tasmania 1984 -1985
  • Lord Howe Island – Jan 1988
  • New Zealand – Dec 1988
  • Lord Howe Island Dec 1989 – Jan 1990
  • South Coast NSW 1990 – 1991
  • North Coast NSW 1991 – 1992
  • Lord Howe Island and Elizabeth and Middleton reefs 1992 – 1993

By the time I was 16 years old (1994) I regularly took mates out on Realitas without my parents.

Several trips around Sydney Harbour and Broken Bay / Pittwater 1994 – 1998

Dory canoe ply. Built by David Mitchell, Australia

Although i had plenty of yachts and dinghies to mess around with during my childhood, I had a desire to build my own boat.

I built this 16 foot ply dory canoe when i was 17 years old and paddled it up many creeks and rivers.

Hobie 14 sailor David Mitchell

The first of many Multihulls – Hobie 14 Turbo 

From these childhood boating experience, David continued to develop his yachting skills on a wide variety of vessels. In recent years David has become dual qualified with the award of both Master of vessels (under 24m) and RYA Yacht Master certification

More about David’s extensive boating experience