Nick Smith’s boats at this year’s Beale Park Boat and Outdoor Show

Salcombe-trained traditional boat builder Nick Smith has sent over a few photographs of two of his West Country style motor launches that he built, and one constructed to his lines that appeared at this year’s Beale Park Boat and Outdoor Show.

The collection above are of Moiety (1992, finished bright) and Puffin (2008, steam launch with a white hull), which were brought to the show by their owners.

Also, Richard Pease, who took early retirement to build boats exhibited his 17ft 6in larch motor launch built to my lines plans as used for Moiety in the amateur boatbuilders competition – and won the ‘Most professional home build’ with his boat Curlew.

Nick points out that the photo shows clearly that Richard’s sheer and fit out are quite different to his own.

Thanks Nick, and congratulations Richard!





Nick Smith 16ft motor launch planked up

Nick Smith motor launch for 2011 - batten shows optional sheerline Nick Smith motor launch for 2011 planked up

Traditional boat builder Nick Smith has sent in this photos of a new 16ft motor launch that he has been working on.

The boat has now been planked up – in the first a batten shows where the sheerline will fall if a buyer prefers an open boat: the second illustrates where the deck would lie if finished off with a half-deck and cuddy.

Nick will be off to the New Forest shortly to source green oak for the timbers; the boat will soon be steamed out and rivetted up – see a video of Nick and helpers steaming out an earlier boat.

Two earlier posts relating to this boat are here and here.

Nick comes from Devon, learned boatbuilding the traditional way and specialises in new builds in clinker and carvel for sail, motor and rowing power from 8ft to 28ft with a special emphasis on West Country style and design, and also takes on repairs and refits from 25ft to 50ft. These days he’s based in Hampshire, and can be contacted by email at and by phone on 07786 693370.

Nick Smith sets up the moulds for his 2011 motor launch project – and it could be yours

Nick Smith motor launch moulds Nick Smith motor launch Louise on her trailer

Nick Smith motor launch Louise April 2010 Nick Smith motor launch Louise April 2010 Nick Smith motor launch Louise April 2010

Nick Smith motor launch Louise April 2010

Professional boat builder Nick Smith has just set up these moulds and centreline to build another of his splendid old fashioned West Country-style motor launches in his workshop near Christchurch.

This one, a 16ft example, has yet to find a buyer, so it could be yours. These boats make great small sea boats for fishing, birdwatching, picknicking, watching regattas and the rest. They’re quick and seaworthy for their size, and have a real traditional pedigree about them – Nick learned his trade from earlier generations of boatbuilders in a boatyard at Salcombe in the 1970s, before the old trades in the town gave way to art galleries, maritime-theme boutiques and ice cream parlours.

The new boat is to be planked in khaya mahogany and framed with New Forest oak, varnished throughout, and fitted with a 9hp Yanmar single cylinder diesel inboard.

The first shot shows the moulds that Nick will use, while the remainder are of Louise, a boat of the same size and shape that he built a couple of years ago. The new owner will be free to alter the internal layout and choice of engine if they wish.

If any you’re interested in owning this new launch, contact Nick at or by telephone on 07786 693370; you will also be very welcome to visit his workshop, which is four miles from Christchurch in Dorset for a yarn and take a look at progress.