The Bristol Classic Boat Company  


Who we are

About Us

We are a boatyard located centrally in the city of Bristol’s historic docks and we are dedicated to the restoration and building of traditional wooden sailing and motor vessels.

We are based on Redcliffe Wharf, in the shadow of St Mary Redcliffe Church, a 3 minute walk from Bristol City Centre.


Excellent transport links to the rest of the country mean easy access by road, sea or canal so we have restored and repaired all kinds of vessels from 100-year old sailing vessels to canal narrow boats.

Bristol is rich in maritime history and the City Docks are right in the city centre.  Despite being closed to commercial traffic in the late 1970s, the maritime tradition has continued alongside the modern flats and offices that now crowd the harbour.  There are still steel as well as wooden boat builders here, welders and fabricators, electricians and engineers, riggers and sail makers, painters, chandlers, marinas and, to bring us bang up to date, cutting edge composite construction specialists.


Bristol Classic Boat Company specialise in the building, rebuilding, restoration and repair of wooden boats.  We do everything from minor repairs and maintenance to total rebuilding and building from scratch.

We specialise in wood. We believe Wood is Good. Wooden boats up to a certain size are economical and long-lasting.  We have the proven skills to keep old ones in good repair, to restore or rebuild those that have fallen on hard times, and are currently engaged in building a 56 foot traditional wooden sailing boat from scratch.

This is an Ed Burnett design ( based on many of the features of the famously seaworthy Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters. 
The Bristol Classic Boat Company is building her for The Island Trust (, a charity which works through schools and youth groups to offer sailing to disadvantaged young people who would never normally have the opportunity to go sailing. 



Their subsequent letters of thanks of The Island Trust are proof enough of the benefits that the experience of sailing - sometimes in dinghies and sometimes in an ocean-going vessel - can bring.  Apart from the sheer fun of it and learning new skills, working as one of a sailing vessel’s crew often leads to increased motivation and self-confidence, a greater sense of responsibility and achievement, as well as opening young eyes to the advantages and enjoyment of working as a team.

The Island Trust has been providing this opportunity for young people to sail from Salcombe and elsewhere for 33 years.  In the past they used to own and sail the 80 year old Brixham trawler Provident but when she proved too expensive to maintain they decided to sell her and charter when they wanted to sail bigger boats.  Now they have been offered the money for this new boat, designed with their needs in mind and built to the highest safety standards.  The dinghy sailing has continued under the auspices of The Island Cruising Club (, who will be offering the new boat for charter when not being used by the Trust.

This vessel will be completed and ready for sea in the spring of 2008.
Sails will be by Patrick Selman in Falmouth (

Alongside the repair business, The Bristol Classic Boat Company intends to attract more orders for new wooden boats based on the best of the working boats from the last days of commercial sail.

Classic Boat (August 2007) - has a profile of Mark and Peter Rolt in its "Splice of Life" series by Mike Smylie. - Click here for a link to Classic Boat online