This fits in with Jock's philosophy that he would never go to sea in an unseaworthy boat - and nor would he let anyone else do so. Jock has definite views on safety at sea and a well-found boat. "I've never been worried about any of the boats I've sailed on and I've always said if you have to worry about the boat then you're better off on shore. Another thing, having been so much involved with ocean racing and cruising, I've always been aware of the importance of not skimping on anything at all in the way of strength and safety. "Everything has to be done to perfection. Too many boats have to retire from races because of structural deficiencies from the hull to the rigging. There are several points on a boat where I would double up to be doubly safe and would always err on the side of extra strength. Today they tend to err on the side of weakness - because the racing rules encourage this. "Some specific examples would be double forestays and sometimes double backstays. It's important to remember a strong boat is not much good without a strong spar (mast) and rigging. In every boat we've built the hull, spar and rigging were perhaps overbuilt because I still think that is the way to do it. "I've also believed in heavy pintles and gudgeons on the rudder. It seems almost trite to say it but a boat without a rudder can be a potential disaster! "I suppose the best sort of jury-rig rudderwould be a spinnaker pole over the stern - but I have never had first-hand experience of having to do that. And, I always advise boatowners to have plenty of ground tackle. "It is not just a matter of carrying two anchors but also the right amount of chain. And many owners skimp on the most obvious things - enough lifejackets, flares, life buoys because even with today's modern aids some safety precautions always hold good. "I can honestly say I have never had any fear of the sea but I've always had the maximum respect for it and that is why I can say I've never taken any undue risks."
The Fishing Fleet
As a result of a dramatic increase in sales tax in the early 1950s, Jock had added a second slipway at the boatyard so as to cater for repairs and alterations. This slip took vessels up to 75 feet in length and weighing up to 70 tons. He designed more than 20 well-known fishing vessels, six of which were built at Muir's. One of the best-known fishing boats built elsewhere was the 60-foot Donita, built by the Wilson brothers for the late Geoff Martyn.