top of page

Robert Bériault was born in 1941 and lived a happy childhood in downtown Ottawa during the exuberant post-war era. At seventeen he got a job as technician in a diagnostic laboratory for Agriculture Canada and within two years got promoted to research technician in animal reproduction. He worked towards a BSc through part-time studies and eventually became lab manager for biotechnology research labs at the Universities of Montreal (Québec) and of Guelph (Ontario). During this time he married and had two children, Natalie who is an instructor for special needs therapists and Philippe, a restaurateur. At the age of 53 Robert took early retirement and turned the page on his career.

Having always been interested in the environment, he launched an ecological, reusable nylon bag factory as well as a screen-printing shop. After ten years of mitigated success, he was faced with the reality that Canada’s policy of globalization made it impossible for a Canadian sewing factory to compete with offshore manufacturers. He sold his equipment to spend more time on environmental issues. He founded the Val-des-Monts Recycling Association, one of the first small Québec towns to establish a collection system for recycling.

It was after abandoning the bag business that he took up keelboat sailing and soon became a sailing instructor. His first book, Sailor Without a Boat, tells stories of his sailing adventures and of the people he sailed with. 

Having sailed for 18 years on other people's boats gave him the idea of writing his second book, Handbook for Sailing on Other People's Boats.

In 2023 he will be launching his third book about how to travel with a lower environmental impact.

bottom of page