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Exploring projects at Suffolk Yacht Harbour

by Epoxycraft 3 Jun 17:00 BST
Repairs and renovations at Suffolk Yacht Harbour all benefit from West System epoxy resin © Emily Harris

In the lead up to the summer season, the boatyard services team at Suffolk Yacht Harbour is working around the clock on maintenance and repair jobs, ensuring the incredible boats that come through their doors are ready to go back on the water.

Suffolk Yacht Harbour (SYH) is the leading independent marina on east coast of the UK. Founded in 1967, the 550-berth marina is a hub for cruising, racing and boat maintenance.

Alongside their extensive marina, they also provide boat movement services and two on-site chandleries. But it's the boatyard services at SYH that we're shining a spotlight on today.

Led by Boatyard Services Director Joshua Major, the workshop team have over 50 years' experience working with classic and GRP boats. From minor repairs to full refits, SYH have a state-of-the-art workshop and utilise the latest in marine technology to repair and renovate sail yachts and motor boats.

We managed to pull the team away from their busy work schedule to find out a bit more about the projects they've been working on and discover how they continue to manage and exceed boat owner requests year on year.


The team talked us through one of their recent projects; the extensive refit of Ryegate, a classic wooden motor yacht. When she arrived in Suffolk for her renovation, the team sanded the hull back to a bright mahogany, routed out all the seams and splined the topsides in the same wood.

"We renewed her gas system to meet insurance regulations and removed and remanufactured the traditional galvanised rudder and keel shoe." Corroded and degraded fastenings were also replaced to ensure this beautiful boat is authentically restored to her former glory.

For the Ryegate project, the SYH team used a number of products from WEST SYSTEM on this refit:


The team goes on reminiscing about the work done on Acamar - a 26ft wooden classic sailing yacht.

"The topsides were sanded, spot filled and hand-painted using the 'roll and tip' method. This method involves someone rolling the paint on for coverage, while a second person follows with a brush to eliminate any roller marks," explains Joshua Major.

The decks were sanded back and primer applied for a non-slip finish. All the varnish work was stripped back before a layer of Awlwood was applied and the decks were changed to full swept teak with new mahogany cover boards and teak kick rails.

"We stripped the cockpit arrangement and fitted new teak, side deck sloping helm seats." The aft cockpit locker was removed and the engine box and companionway were repositioned to optimise the space and strip out any excess weight.

Down below, all the interior paintwork and varnish was stripped back and refinished, and a fridge was built and installed alongside a replacement galley sink and pipe work.

The SYH worked with onsite business French Marine to fit a new electric engine and Mr Stainless to make a custom genoa track and fit new, polished stainless window surrounds. Chandlery Classic Marine supplied traditional winches and all new Schaefer deck gear, while the team partnered with Seapower Marine Electronics to fit the wiring loom and convert the dials to a classic style. They also installed period LED cabin and navigation lighting from Classic Marine.

The SYH team also worked with WEST SYSTEM epoxy across the extensive refit, using the following products:

Nauti Bear

You may recognise this next boat from her on-screen feature in 'From Russia With Love'. Sean Connery gets involved in a typical James Bond high-speed pursuit with a fleet of bad guys on their Fairey Huntsmen, as he races across a Scottish lake on his Fairey Huntress.

At Suffolk Yacht Harbour, the team called upon their traditional boat building skills to restore Fairey Huntsmen, Nauti Bear, back to her true original design.

They started by blasting off the old antifoul with a soft mineral called olivine before revolting the underwater section of the hull and replacing the port spray rail.

Wanting to stay true to the Fairey's original construction, "We re-painted the top sides and modified the exhaust back to its traditional design," explains Joshua Major. The team worked with onsite partner French Marine to re-engineer the twin Perkins 200hp engines and install them midships under the cockpit.

For this project, the team relied on the following products from WEST SYSTEM:

The Best Epoxy for Boatbuilding

Down at the yard, the team are hard at work on a number of jobs going on. Osmosis treatments, bulkhead bonding, hull laminating repairs and teak and Lignia deck laying. Suffolk Yacht Harbour has a long-standing relationship with WEST SYSTEM epoxy and use the products on all of their work. "As the Suffolk Yacht Harbour refit and repair workshops have steadily grown into the large, modern facility we have today, WEST SYSTEM has remained a consistent and trusted supplier," explains SYH Managing Director, Jonathan Dyke.

"WEST SYSTEM is without a doubt the best epoxy for boat building and there is barely a day that goes by when we aren't using a WEST SYSTEM product in our workshops," explains SYH Boatyard Services Director, Joshua Major. "We use WEST SYSTEM on both GRP and classic wooden boat repairs and refits; the products are simple to apply and deliver on the high standards we always aim for. More recently, we have found the new G/flex epoxy particularly good for repair work."

SYH Classic Regatta

Looking forward, Suffolk Yacht Harbour has announced the dates of their annual Classic Regatta, due to be held from 25th - 27th June 2021. The event is the largest classic yacht regatta on the east coast and attracts a fleet of beautifully maintained vessels. You can find out more about the 2021 Classic Regatta at

You can find out more about Suffolk Yacht Harbour over at

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