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:

Pete - Shipwright / Managing Director
James - Shipwright
Hugh - Marketing/Painter
Will - Apprentice Boatbuilder

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.

On rare occasions Pete has also been known to make the Tea!

James - Shipwright

We were very pleased to welcome James Kent to the company in July 2015. James learnt his skills through necessity having bought an old clinker Folkboat which was in a pretty bad way. He shadowed a shipwright working in the yard on the East Coast to learn the basics for its complete restoration. James has continued to develop his skills over the last few years working on various craft from a Humber keel barge to a traditional Falmouth workboat, Thames skiffs and even a few punts. He is Australian born which makes for interesting times while listening to the Ashes and Rugby World Cup. Strangely he doesn't drink tea or coffee although we may well change that given time.

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 and occasional Tea Maker!

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 is happ able to become a fulltime boatbuilding apprentice with day release to Noss Marine Academy. He likes coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon so fits well with the company culture.

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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