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Mr Matthew French

Professional Description:

Marine, navigation, oceanographic and hydrographic consultant. IHO Category A surveyor. Chartered Marine Technologist. Master mariner with sea command experience. RYA Level II Powerboat & Ocean Yachtmaster (Racing) Matthew French spent 23 years in the Royal Navy with two seagoing commands, and at sea followed by six years in the offshore industry and then in the coastal zone sector. He has acted as expert witness on a number of occasions.


FRGS, MRIN, MHydSoc, Master Mariner, Ocean Yachtmaster (Racing)

10 The Beeches
TA10 9TU
Area of work:

Nationwide and International


He has a wide experience of ocean racing. He has participated in two Capetown to Rio de Janeiro races (1971 & 1976), one Admiral's Cup campaign (1983) including the winning of the Channel Race, two Three Quarter Ton World Championships (1976 & 1984), one James Cook Trophy (1968), the European Half Ton Cup (2011), eight Fastnet Races and many other inshore and offshore races. He now spends as much time cruising (often in foreign waters) and in race management undertaking the running of yacht races as a qualified RYA Race Officer.

As a hydrographic specialist in the Royal Navy, he undertook a vast amount of small boat work surveying many inshore and dangerous waters including three seasons in Antarctic waters where he endured a major storm whilst under canvas ashore on a remote island with his team. He has an RYA PBL2 qualification. He had two commands of Royal Naval ships.

He takes an active interest in village affairs where he has been chairman of one village's parish council, was a member of his previous village's P.C.C, is chairman of his local RNLI branch and was on the committee of the local Royal British Legion branch. He has been a trustee of a small national charity.

As an Ocean Yachtmaster with extensive experience in yachting matters both in coastal and oceanic waters. He has acted as expert witness on several occasions including in a drug smuggling case court case involving a yacht arriving in UK waters from abroad. He is very knowledgeable about tidal issues and, in particular, tidal boundaries, where he has acted in a number of cases. He has also acted as expert witness on a number of occasions,  including expert advice in a number of cases ranging from a large multi-billion dollar case to a multi-million dollar grounding issue to another grounding issue (where his advice saved the client tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of pounds), to several tidal boundary issues, tidal stream issues in a murder trial to safety issues in RIBS. He has undertaken expert witness training passing the Cardiff University Bond Solon certificate.


RN Hydrographic School/IHO Cat A, Bond Solon/CUBS, RYA.

Expert Training

Cardiff University Bond Solon CUBS


Royal Institute of Navigation; Hydrographic Society; Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. I was a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and of the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors.

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