P&B Change Of Boat Builders
Since 2010 our class Scorpions have been built by Boatyard at Beer.
We (P&B)have, since the turn of the year been in discussions with the current Scorpion builder Boatyard at beer. In 2013 we saw no new orders, aside from the P&B boat which had been purchased as part of a previous run to make this more economic and 2012 saw only 2 GRP boats produced.
Whilst 2014 has seen three new boats, from Boatyard at Beers perspective the ‘numbers’ simply are not there. Boatyard at Beer also have other boats in their stable and have added to this over the past 24 months. This has led to rather ‘elastic’ and long lead times for us as a class as well as a price/time pressures for Beer boatyard. With this in mind both parties have come to the conclusion that it is time to move the moulds away from their present home and for P&B to focus on the whole build.
We at P&B have not taken this decision lightly and it is a joint decision between Boatyard at Beer and ourselves. It is in no way meant as a disparagement to Boatyards work. We (P&B) will be able to continue to produce fast championship winning boats consistently and without the absolute need to try and cajole a number of buyers in at once, thereby giving us more flexibility and shorter lead times than the 6-8 months + we currently experience as a class.
So who are the people that are actually going to build this new boat within P&B…
Some of you may have noticed that P&B opened a new branch at Fareham, Southampton (J9,M27) July 2013. This new branch was set up as a repair and boat specialist centre (alongside chandlery etc.) With internationally renowned sailor Ben McGrane heading it up we were also very fortunate to put in place a true boat building industry specialist in Darren Maple.
Darren, a qualified shipwright has been working with the team in Fareham for the past 12 months, he has over 20 years experience building in wood, GRP and carbon with career highlights including the complete restoration of XOD, Lass, winner of Cowes for the second time in 2013 and one off builds in the I14 class. He has also worked on the build of the Volvo Ocean 65 boats over the past decade and moulded various, boats, foils and components. His skill set and attention to detail sets him at the highest level and with his input we expect to produce excellent boats consistently.
We have also employed a team to work under and with Darren. This team has strong experience in building and layup from the likes of Winder boats.
Darren’s remit is not to change the Scorpion moulds or try to revolutionise what is already a wonderful boat but to bring his attention to detail and skills to perfecting the mould and continuing to produce high standard Scorpions.
The first P&B built Scorpion will be on the water towards the back end of this season.
I will be at Datchet Water this weekend at the Inland championships, sailing Scorpion 2033 and happy to answer any questions or call me on 01604 592808 (or post a question on here and I will get back to you.)