Nick Gates & Co, of Thornham Marina

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From top: Lady May;  SCODs ; and Girouette

Nick Gates & Co is a traditional workshop based at Thornham Marina, near Emsworth in Hampshire.

Set up in 1999 by boatbuilder Nick Gates, the company specialises in the repair and restoration of wooden boats and looks after a wide range of craft, from clinker dinghies, to classic racing yachts, steam launches and gentleman’s motor yachts.

Nick trained at the International Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft before joining the renowned Combes Boatyard in Bosham, where he worked until the yard closed in 1999.

Boats being worked on in the yard at the moment include Lady May, a 1930s Camper & Nicholson launch, which came to the yard for finishing and to have its interior put back in, and Girouette, a Hillyard-built boat that has been in the same family for nearly 50 years.

Partially restored by Combes in the early 1990s, she has since been laid up, and is now at Nick Gates & Co for a new deck, interior and engine.

Nick also specialises in the Nicholson-designed, 26ft South Coast One-Design (SCOD), and in recent years five of the local fleet have visited the workshop. The jobs carried out on these boats have included a total rebuild, new decks and coachroof, external varnishwork and mast repairs.

For more information see the company’s very nice website at http://www.nickgates.co.uk

This page from the site might be particularly interesting to anyone who has been interested in the progress of Gadfly II – note the strong resemblance.

More information about the Kent-built ‘Blackwater sloop’ Gadfly II

We’ve had a short message and a few more photos of Gadfly II from boatbuilder and restorer Simon Papendick.

‘Since I contacted you last on the website, I have found out more about the boat’s history and type of boat she is – or at least the design she was built to.

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Gadfly II – she’s fairly clean, but there’s still plenty of work to do!

We’ve had a short message and a few more photos of Gadfly II from boatbuilder and restorer Simon Papendick.

‘Since I contacted you last on the website, I have found out more about the boat’s history and type of boat she is – or at least the design she was built to.

‘It appears that Gadfly II was built in Kent, as was I was lead to believe was the case. However, she was built to look like a Blackwater gaff sloop called Iolanthe and has the same hull design and dimensions.

‘The only different between the two boats is that my boat has an extra 3in depth in the iron keel. I have attached a few photos of the work in progress to restore this fine old lady to her former glory.’

Iolanthe appeared in Classic Boat magazine September 2004. I should get my copy out and have a look!

For an earlier intheboatshed.net post about this boat, click here.

Simon Papendick, who runs J-Star Tuition & Boat Services, can be reached at 07799401650 and info@jstartuition-boatservices.co.uk.

Jazz at the Isle of Wight Classic Boat Museum

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Dig these groovin’ photos taken by Julie at the Isle of Wight’s Classic Boat Museum! She’s an experimental speed boat built by Morgan Giles & May in 1912, and powered by the original Vauxhall 4-litre, four-cylinder engine.


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