You’re invited to attend the Boat Building Academy student launch, 4th December

To see the boats the students are building, click here.


To see the boats the students are building, click here.


What is the story of this 1937 Liverpool-built towing boat please?


Fowey boat builder Marcus Lewis has this new motor launch restoration project to work on this winter, and would very much like to know more about it, if anyone can help.

He knows that the launch and was built as a towing boat in Liverpool in 1937, and has a builders plate of  Burton and Fawcett, Liverpool.
It is carvel built with battens inside every seam. Unusually, the steamed ribs are in contact the battens, not the carvel planks.

The boat was Henry, but is is now named Clarence and has spent some time around Norfolk.

If you know anything about this boat and its type and can help Marcus, contact him directly or write to me at and I’ll pass the message on.

Hestercombe Gardens get a new Edwardian-style punt

Lyme Regis boatbuilders The Beautiful Boat Company have constructed a punt for the Hestercombe Gardens Trust, based on old photographs from 1904 of the boat being used on the garden’s Pear Pond. The launch was a few days ago, and I’d guess the folks involved had some fun recreating the most striking of the old photos. See old black and white and new colour photos in the gallery above.

I’m quite sure the The Beautiful Boat Company would be very happy to work to more commissions based on old photographs!

Hestercombe combines three gardens covering three centuries of garden history and design, including a Edwardian formal garden designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and planted by Gertrude Jekyll between 1904-1908, a Victorian shrubbery and terrace originally laid out by the 1st Viscount Portman between 1873-77, and an 18th century landscape garden designed by Coplestone Warre Bampfylde between 1750 and 1791.

The punt project began when Hestercombe Gardens Trust chief executive Philip White found six photographs of a punt from about 1904. The photos show a slightly unusual punt shorter and deeper than most estate or lake punts, and finely built in the Thames style.

The discover sparked an ambition to see a punt back on Pear Pond again; Philip suspects the original was sold at an estate sale in 1951.

Evidence from a boat house in the grounds suggested the punt was up to about 18 feet. A chance meeting between Philip and Simon Olszowski of The Beautiful Boat Company and graduate of the Lyme Regis’ Boat Building Academy, led to the punt commission.

It is built from a mix of timbers including iroko and sapele, and also teak reclaimed from East Reach Hospital in Taunton, where the Portman ward was sponsored by Hestercombe’s last private owners, and is named Constance after the lady of the house at the time it was built.