Windboats celebrates centenary

The early days of Windboats, which is celebrating its centenary in 2020 Photo: Windboats The early days of Windboats, which is celebrating its centenary in 2020 Photo: Windboats
Industry Database

Windboats is to celebrate 100 years of yacht building in 2020.

The Norfolk-based yachtbuilder crafts a wide variety of vessels ranging from small wooden boats to 72ft luxury cruising yachts and motorboats.

Established in 1920 by Graham Bunn, a master craftsman and yacht designer, the yard developed a reputation for excellence in boatbuilding, producing a fleet of hire boats in the Norfolk Broads known as the Windboats.

In 1945 the yard was purchased by Donald Hagenbach, who led Windboats to become one of the founder members of the Ship and Boat Builders National Federation, later becoming its president. The business diversified into building aluminium boats in 1957 and soon after started using ferro cement construction under the trade name Seacrete.

Oyster Yachts and Hardy Marine

The business changed hands for the third time in 1974, purchased by Windboats’ own production director and naval architect, Trevor James. Windboats moved into GRP yacht production in 1983, commencing a 30 year association with Oyster Marine building nearly 300 Oyster yachts ranging in size from 35 – 72ft. Following Oyster’s decision to move production in-house in 2013, Windboats diversified, acquiring the Norfolk motorboat builder Hardy Marine.

Managed by Trevor’s son Oliver since 2010, a new partnership was formed in 2014 with British yacht brand, Gunfleet Marine. “2020 marks the 46th year of ownership by the James family of this 100 year old company,” said Oliver. “The story of Windboats wouldn’t be the same without the talents of the exceptional team and the loyalty of our clients and suppliers.”

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