"Peter Foerthmann" - Autor bei Tredition.de
 

Peter Foerthmann

Born in 1947, Peter Förthmann is believed to have learned to sail about the same time as he learned to walk. Weary of school by the age of 16, he found a job with the Laeisz shipping company and completed the Pacific run on a banana boat seven times before concluding life in the merchant marine was never going to live up to his romantic childhood dreams. Returning to education, he finished school, trained as an exporter specialising in trade with Africa and then studied economics, moving into his twenties with a lust for life out of all proportion with his financial resources. Watercraft came and went at a rapid tempo; cars too in fact – mobility was the key – and by the time he reached 21, he had already acquired and disposed of more than a dozen boats. A pattern was soon established: restore, re-plank, strip down, repaint, fix the engine and then sail the boat as much and as far as possible until it catches someone's eye and sells itself, sometimes with astonishing rapidity. This was the gold rush era for a man who understood very quickly being his own boss was the only way to go.

Now beginning to move up the food chain, Peter was sailing his own newly built yacht by the age of 25 and reached for the stars at 28 with a substantial steel yawl, which he ended up swapping for the Windpilot company in 1976. The rest is history – albeit a history focused almost exclusively on transom ornaments. Seemingly never short of ideas, Peter soon set about (the ongoing task of) completely rewriting the rules for windvane self-steering systems, also finding the time to exhibit at 220 international boat shows and put his acquired expertise down on paper in books that are now available in six languages. Peter Förthmann operates what may very well be Germany's smallest industrial manufacturing company together with this wife and sells directly to the sailing community worldwide. Building Windpilot into the global market leader has only stoked his passion for writing and his acerbic yet humorous, not to mention frequently self-deprecating, columns betray a man comfortable in his own skin who is still only just getting started ...