Devon Wooden Boats Ltd.
New Workshops

Devon Wooden Boats Ltd. founded in 2010 by Pete Newbery-Thornton working out of his sister in-laws quadruple garage in Kingsteignton for the first 5 years, we had the opportunity to take workshop units at Dolphin Boatyard, Galmpton Creek on the River Dart in Devon. The move to the yard has allowed us to continue growing the team and take on larger and multiple projects. We now have a great machine shop with big old machines, a joinery workshop and composite/paint workshop along with other facilities available for us to use. The company’s focus has shifted from new builds to major restoration projects and refit works on both private and commercial vessels along with a little general maintenance.

Job Opportunities:
Fulltime Permanent Position: Experienced Shipwright/Boatbuilder -   PDF Download Job Spec

Meet the team

Meet the team:

Pete - Shipwright / Managing Director
Kris -
Marine Electrical Technician
Jack - Boatbuilder
Danielle - Junior Boatbuilder
Rich - Junior Boatbuilder
Will - Apprentice Boatbuilder
Hugh - Marketing/Painter
Nici - Admin / Accounts

Pete - Shipwright / Managing Director

The founder Pete Newbery-Thornton grew up around boat yards. From a very young age Pete remembers working in confined spaces inaccessible to adults on Folkboats and Metre boats, including his parents’ Uffa Fox 22 Square Metre (Waterwitch II) and later an International 6 Metre (Catherine) and the complete rebuild of a SCOD (Troika). He continued to work on boats and made pocket money from buying wrecked dinghies and then with some help restoring them and selling on repeatedly - in hindsight what a great way of keeping a young lad busy.

Pete started his apprenticeship in 1987 at Porter Brothers in Emsworth and completed it at Shamrock Quay, Southampton working with Bob Hatcher and Barry Honey restoring and maintaining classic yachts. Peter then moved out to Lefkas, Greece to work for Contact Yacht Services for two years maintaining large private sail and motor yachts. He returned to the UK to help finish the construction and fit-out of a luxury Dutch style barge for his family business.

In 1995 Pete retrained as an AutoCad design engineer, later moving into the internet marketing industry where he remained until 2009, running his own companies and working up to senior level in several Dot Com businesses until the call to return to the workshop became too strong to resist.

Pete then spent some time looking around for a wreck to restore until deciding quite literally to return to the drawing board. He remembered the pram dinghy designed and built for him at the age of four which had retractable launching wheels and, still having the original drawings, he applied that concept to a new design of dinghy which complies with the Recreational Craft Directive.

Kris - Marine Electrical Technician

Kris has over 15 years’ experience designing, installing and maintaining various electrical and electronic systems including Bluetooth, VHF/UHF radio based systems from basic mains spur installation through to electronic repairs at component level and writing custom software for bespoke interfaces. Now qualified BMET (British Marine Electrical Technician) and NMEA MEI (Marine Electronic Installer) under the British Marine BMEEA scheme. Kris is keen cyclist of the type that overtakes cars in a 30mph zone without apparent effort and spends rest of his time programming Full HD cycle simulation software or designing and building electronics.

Jack - Boatbuilder

Jack joined the company in November 2016 having been through Lyme Regis in 2010/11 with 18 months up in Scotland restoring old wooden boats and then the last few years self-employed on the Thames restoring boats. Jack originally trained as a Carpenter Joiner straight from school until deciding to retrain. He is a keen surfer and would like to be a sailor given the crewing opportunities and time.

Danielle - Junior Boatbuilder

Danii as she prefers to be called joined us in September 2016 having started her boatbuilding career with the Morning Star trust then a year at Lyme Regis and back to the trust for another 18 months. She has the best collection of planes of anyone in the company and comes a close 2nd for Adze’s. Has a real love for traditional boats, sailing and an obsession for tools.

Rich - Junior Boatbuilder

Rich joined the company in August 2016 straight out of IBTC Portsmouth as the best of the first crop having won the new Royal Naval Shipwrights Award. Rich before retraining had a variety of jobs for a few years after college everything from bar work to kitchen fitting and has taken to boatbuilding like a duck to water he is also a keen cricketer.

Will - Apprentice Boatbuilder

Will is a young man who joined the company in summer 2015 as a part time General Assistant doing all the mucky jobs and has proved to be a lot more skilled than he let on. You never quite know what style/colour his hair will be from week to week although while at work it is generally either dusty or muddy. We initially took him on part time as he had caring responsibilities and we were able to offer him the flexibility he required. In January 2016 he was happily able to become a fulltime boatbuilding apprentice with day release to Noss Marine Academy.

Hugh -Marketing/Yard Assistant

Hugh formally joined the company in January 2015 to help with the Teignmouth/Shaldon Ferry refit spending his first 6 weeks knocking copper nails in and holding a heavy dolly against the bottom of the boat for refastening, quite a change from being a marketing executive. Hugh has been involved with the business over the last couple of years helping out with sales and marketing and he is also Pete's brother in-law.

Hugh's main role is sales, marketing and promotion including trade/public shows around the country along with advertising. He assists other members of the team including everything from sanding and preparing surfaces to painting and/or varnishing.!

Nici - Accounts/Admin

Nici has always been a part of the business as she is Pete's wife, so is technically the Boss! To start with she was the part-time apprentice, dolly holder, machining assistant for large planks of wood etc. As the company is now growing she is taking a more active permanent role looking after the accounts, materials ordering, invoicing, answering the phone and continues in the most important role in the company, Tea Maker!

Prospective customers are welcome to visit the boatyard though please make an appointment as we sometimes work away from base.

British Marine Federation - Member Newton Abbot Chamber of Commerce - Member Executive Committee

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