January (6-15) 2017 once again hosts the Capital city’s iconic London Boat Show offering boating enthusiasts a chance to discover and explore some of the most sought after products and upcoming trends for the year ahead. With over 300 exhibitors showcasing the best the marine world has to offer, anticipated debuts to the World and European stage, as well as exciting new attractions, the event is one not to be missed.
John Watkinson grew up with small boats on the River Dee, at the age of nine John built his first boat using boards stolen from the hen house roof, his parents were impressed that they responded with encouragement. He showed academic ability as well as practical skill winning a maths scholarship to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth.
After a distinguished war service, John became the Royal Navy’s recognised small boat specialist. he was loaned to Cambridge University to help design the first inflatable life raft.
While stationed in Northern Ireland, John met Katharine, a Signal Wren. On discharge from the Navy they bought and managed Kelly and Hall, a small yard building and repairing traditional boats. After several years, they decided to “sell up and sail”, but due to bad weather and sea sickness they returned.
Once back in Devon, John promised to build Kate a boat she would like, although Kate declared it must be “A day boat, so I could get home to a comfortable bed, have no boom to bang heads and have any engine fumes well out of the way”
The result was the first Drascombe Lugger “Katharine Mary”
Knowing the prototype was a success, John took the first production Drascombe Lugger to the 1968 London Boat Show. They sold this boat within 20 minutes of the opening and came home with 18 orders.
There have been a few companies over the years building Drascombes, but since 2002 the license to build Drascombes has been with Churchouse Boats, when Stewart Brown (the then owner of the company) was granted permission to build them.
In 2006 the proto-type Drifter 22 is launched, the first new Drascombe boat for 20 years, she is well received, and is a popular choice for the single handed and family sailor’s buying a new boat.
Move forward to March 2013 and Stewart Brown retires and sells Churchouse Boats to Simon and Sharon Harwood.
Over 6000 Drascombe boats are on the water.
Find Drascombe here: http://www.drascombe.co.uk/
The Drascombe Range includes:
- Drascombe Dabber: All the features you would expect from a Drascombe, in a capable small day sailer.
- Drascombe Lugger: John Watkinson’s original Drascombe design, the Lugger is now a firmly established world favourite
- Drascombe Longboat: At 21’ 9″ the Drascombe Longboat is a powerful sailor, both stable & roomy.
- Drascombe Coaster: The Coaster is the cabin version of the Drascombe Longboat.
- Drascombe Drifter: The Drascombe Drifter offers good accommodation for two adults whilst retaining the ease of handling of a smaller boat.
- Drascombe Gig: The Drascombe Gig is the largest boat in the range.
- Drascombe Sailability Boats: Either the Drascombe Longboat or the Drascombe Lugger are suitable for Sailability, Outdoor Education/Activity Centres and Scout Groups.