Evans Boatwork specialises in building, restoring and repairing wooden craft, and is located close to Milford Marina and the commercial docks at Milford Haven, one of the deepest and most protected harbours in the world.The area is particularly interesting to yachties because it offers cruising in the Bristol Channel and the Irish Sea, and the Cleddau river, which is part of the Pembrokeshire National Park. Evans has a nice little website featuring three of its restoration projects, two of which are of particular interest: a 1960s Shetland skiff and an X boat.
Newson’s boatyard stands by Oulton Broad in Lowestoft, Suffolk – that is, right on the East Coast of England and at the gateway to the Norfolk Broads.
Restoration is only one part of the company’s business, for it is also a boatbuilder in wood, steel and fibreglass, makes masts, and undertakes surveys and engine installations. Nevertheless, Newson’s has surely done some terrific boat and yacht restoration projects of various sizes, and the company has kindly promised to let us publish some of their photos over time.
Just for a start, though take a look at the William & Kate Johnston (pictured below), and then take a look around for a taste of what’s to come from this yard:
This is where it is:
Launched in 1923, William & Kate Johnston was designed as a prototype lifeboat by James R. Barnett, Consulting Naval Architect to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and at the time of her launch she was the largest lifeboat in the world at 60ft in length. She was built with a double diagonal teak hull by J. Samuel White and Co at Cowes. For more on her:
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Rania was built in 1937 by the Rampart Boat Building works in Southampton. Just before delivery in 1939, however, she was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, when many small British craft sailed across the Channel to rescue the British Expeditionary Force – and army of 400,000 or so.
This astonishing exercise took place in perfect millpond conditions (see the images of this event at the Rania site, and see Wikipedia for more on the fighting and evacuation). She continued to serve in the ‘Mosquito navy’ for the duration of the war.
She is now in real need of help. Rania has been dismantled and is in urgent need of repair; she has been saved by the Dunkirk Little Ship Restoration Trust but unfortunately the funds are not available – nevertheless her supporters wish to restore her to her original condition and return her to Dunkirk in 2010 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuations.
For more on Rania, and some very evocative music: