Aldeburgh’s historic boatyard was the birthplace of hundreds of expertly crafted sailing boats, but in April 2010 a fire burned the yard to the ground, despite the efforts of 30 firemen who battled to suppress the blaze.
But now the long, hard job of rebuilding is finally complete, and the boatyard has produced its first new ship in over two years. The Makai, a 22ft (6.7m) centreboard day-sailer built by Peter Wilson, is the first boat to be produced at the new yard, and its sleek lines show that the yard’s reputation for style and quality is safe.
The Makai is a Linton Hope-designed Bombay Tomtit, an antique design that dates from the 1890s. Only four are known to exist today, after the fifth was lost in the same fire that took the boatyard. That boat’s owner, Mark Bridges, commissioned the Makai as a replacement for his beloved lost craft. Mark told Classic Boat UK: “It’s not for nothing my family called the original boat my mistress, after I spent 33 times her original cost having her restored by Peter!”
So if you’re heading down to Aldeburgh for a day out, make sure you take a peek at the newly restored boatyards.