Born on 6 April 1945, Captain Percival first had a lifelong affinity with the water. Having learned to sail aged eight, on the West Kirby Marine Lake, he went to sea with Alfred Holt & Co. as a deck midshipman in 1961. He gained his master’s ticket 10 years later, captaining his first vessel in 1973 with Westminster Dredging. In 1977 he joined Aramco Overseas Co. as a cargo superintendent. He then spent two years in Johannesburg, South Africa, managing what was the largest empty container park in the southern hemisphere.
His first involvement with yachting, and crew training as a discipline, was in 1996 when he founded JPMA/Hoylake Sailing School Ltd with his daughter, Anna. The company began teaching recreational sailors and boaters, but was soon asked to start delivering commercial training to the small craft industry. Since then JPMA/Hoylake... has developed into one of the largest small craft training establishments in the UK, delivering courses to the leisure, superyacht, workboat, port and merchant sectors. John was a member of many boards and committees within these sectors, such was his dedication to the development of UK industry and the welfare and appropriate training of on board crew.
Over the last six months John stepped back from day-to-day business due to his deteriorating health. He took formal retirement in early February 2014. Anna will continue, with the help of the business development team and the rest of the staff - who now number more than 30 - to maintain the renowned high standards of the school.
A commemorative service will be held for John on 21 March at St Hildeburgh’s Church, Hoylake at 15:00. In lieu of flowers, John’s family request donations to either Hoylake RNLI Crew Fund, or Cheshire & Wirral Partnership Charitable Fund - Palliative Care Team.