Dave Hart – boat restorer
Dave Hart, 73, initially started his career as a boatbuilder, and after 9 years boatbuilding, retrained to become an outdoor education teacher & instructor of water sports including dinghy sailing, windsurfing, canoeing & kayaking. On retirement aged 50, Dave became a freelance sailing coach and part time boat restorer.
During the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 undertook a number of boat restorations and subsequently decided to turn his hobby into a small business called… BOATSUTOW.
Dave recalls… “My first boat was a Thames estuary one design 20 feet gunter rigged clinker timber day sail boat which I kept at West Mersea in Essex which cost £10 in the early 1960`s.”
- In the 1960`s ex Admiralty whaler 27 feet clinker timber sail boats.
- Built a yachting world 14 feet plywood bass boat built at an evening class in Brightlingsea Essex.
- I got involved with an Essex youth sailing centre as a volunteer at which the range of small sailing dinghies were:
- Yachting world 14 feet clinker timber sail boats & later grp versions of the YWDB.
- Wayfarer 16 feet in grp sailing boats & Oyster 16 feet grp sailing boats.
I helped maintain these boats & learnt a lot from Peter Gurnell & his team at the Essex youth sailing centre.
We sailed across the English channel in the Oyster 16 feet sail boats across the Thames to Ramsgate & then to Calais. Escorted with an ex RNLI lifeboat called St Cedd that was the Essex youth service safety boat. I was working in boat yards undertaking fibre glass & timber work in my youth in the 1960`s. On an extensive range of wooden & grp yachts & commercial small craft.
Eventually going self employed as a mobile boat repair service with Morris minor pick up truck with my tools in the back. I covered Essex , Suffolk & Norfolk & was never out of work.
I spent most of my leisure time sailing either with the Essex youth service at Bradwell or the Ocean youth club out of Brightlingsea sailing a Bristol pilot cutter Theodora & Duet another timber yawl the OYC had use of. Those were adventures I would never forget & they had a profound influence on my future career.
I retrained as a teacher of Outdoor education with the sole aim of working in outdoor centre’s sailing.
Plus looking after fleets of small boats, windsurfers, open canoes & kayaks over a period of 20 years.
Many sailing dinghy types have passed through my care over this time from GP14 fleets, Wayfarer fleets, Mirror dinghy fleets, Beaufort dinghies, Seafarer sail boats, Drascombe range of sail boats.
Retiring at 50 when offered the option I worked as a freelance water sports instructor in the North Wales area.
Then I decided to stop coaching water sports & restore a large old house outside Oswestry in Shropshire over a ten year period.
During this time I developed my hobby of looking for traditional boats that needed renovation.
These ranged from a 15 feet clinker timber Cooks one design that I had sailed in my youth in Essex.
- Orkney longliner 16 feet grp fishing boats. Northumberland & east coast cobble fishing boats.
- Drascombe & Devon Dabbers, Luggers, long boats & Gigs.
- The Devon yawl day boat.
“Age should be no barrier to your aspirations.”
Interests: Small boat adventures & working on boats.
Experience: 50+ years sailing & working on boats.
IS YOUR BOAT IN NEED OF SOME TLC?
If you own a boat & have not got the time or inclination to do the work required I may just the man you need.
I actually like working on boats 🙂
Always willing to discuss what you have in mind for your boat.
Or if you are looking for a boat I may be able to help you find a good one.