New boatyard at Brentford opened by John Watson with a launch party

The first new boatyard on the Thames for many years has opened on an island in the river in West London.

Solicitor John Watson who retrained as a boat builder has converted a derelict lighter repair depot on Lots Ait at Brentford into a working yard.

Besides offering a range of services John’s Boat Works is letting out workspace for do-it-yourself renovations and new builds.

Mr Watson said: “The news is usually of boatyards closing on the Thames. We are delighted to be bucking the trend.

“Three months ago this was an abandoned building with no glass in the windows, no electricity and had been neglected for 40 years. Now it is a fully functioning facility with large slipway and a tidal dry dock.

“We have converted it back it into a boatyard with undercover units for people working on their own boats. In addition we will be offering a range of services from boat renovation to engineering.”

A keen boater himself Mr Watson says he plans to combine his knowledge of boating with wide experience of the commercial world to make the yard a success. He undertook a boat building course at the Boat Building Academy at Lyme Regis prior to launching the venture.

The site, reached by a new bridge, was a repair yard for the London Lighterage Company in the heyday of the London barge trade and was  in use from the early 20th century until falling into disrepair and being abandoned in the 1970s.

Link to John's Boat Works website with video of the news facility

Story dated May 2nd 2012

Contact us Terms & Conditions About Us