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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Fans of Maurice Griffiths wil be pleased and interested to hear that the original Lone Gull II built in 1961 by Harry Feltham for the legendary designer, writer and magazine editor for his own use is to be restored by A&R Way Boatbuilding of Argyll.
The plan is to keep her as original as possible: the interior is very much as she was built but the deck and deck beams need to be replaced. When finished, she will be used for some family trips around the West Coast and islands before perhaps selling.
For more on Lone Gull II and A&R Way Boatbuilding see this link http://www.aandrwayboatbuilding.co.uk/page/for_sale_lone_gull_ii . While you’re there, do follow the link to Vindilis – another boat built for a legendary designer, this time metacentric shelf theory enthusiast Harrison Butler.
For more on Griffiths, visit the Eventide Owners Group website at http://www.eventides.org.uk and take a peek at this obituary published by The Independent newspaper. Also, Googling for Maurice Griffiths will usually reveal a shed-load of his boats for sale, as some of them were built in large numbers in the UK and beyond.
Working Sail’s designs are based on the lines of 19th century pilot cutters from the Isles of Scilly, a group of islands in Cornish waters lying at the entrance to the English and Bristol channel. They are said to make excellent yachts due to their excellent seaworthiness and sailing performance. In a way, the fact that pilot boats evolved these qualities should not be surprising: as pilot boats need to be very capable, weatherly and fast in order to make sure their pilot reaches the incoming ship before its rivals.
I’d just like to add that while Lulworth (next post down) makes my jaw drop, the boats of Working Sail below quicken my pulse much more. The boat below is Ezra.
For more from Working Sail: