Devon Wooden Boats Ltd.

Devon Wooden Boats Ltd. founded in 2010 by Pete Newbery-Thornton working out of his sister in-laws quadruple garage in Kingsteignton for the first 5 years, we then moved to workshop units on the river Dart in 2015 and grew to the current team of 6 people.

We are now based at Units 1 & 2 Lapthorne Industrial Estate on the Totnes Road between Newton Abbot and Totnes near the Texaco garage. We realised the majority of projects come to us by road rather than water and the rest remain floating in the various local marinas, so although it seems counter-intuitive working from an inland industrial estate we are only 5 miles from Baltic Wharf at the top of the river Dart, and 20-30 mins drive from all local marinas. We now have 3700 SQFT of workshops for the same running costs of less than half that space shore side, along with the benefit of temperature and humidity stable workshops .

About Us
Meet the team

Join the team: Shipwright/Boat builder with a minimum of 6 years experience - Download Job Spec


Meet the team:

Pete - Shipwright / Managing Director
Kris -
Marine Electrical Technician
Danielle - Junior Boatbuilder
Will - Apprentice Boatbuilder
Hugh - Marketing/Admin
Nici - Admin / Accounts

Pete - Shipwright / Managing Director

The founder Pete Newbery-Thornton grew up around boat yards. From a very young age Pete remembers working in confined spaces inaccessible to adults on Folkboats and Metre boats, including his parents’ Uffa Fox 22 Square Metre (Waterwitch II) and later an International 6 Metre (Catherine) and the complete rebuild of a SCOD (Troika). He continued to work on boats and made pocket money from buying wrecked dinghies and then with some help restoring them and selling on repeatedly - in hindsight what a great way of keeping a young lad busy.

Pete started his apprenticeship in 1987 at Porter Brothers in Emsworth and completed it at Shamrock Quay, Southampton working with Bob Hatcher and Barry Honey restoring and maintaining classic yachts. Peter then moved out to Lefkas, Greece to work for Contact Yacht Services for two years maintaining large private sail and motor yachts. He returned to the UK to help finish the construction and fit-out of a luxury Dutch style barge for his family business.

In 1995 Pete retrained as an AutoCad design engineer, later moving into the internet marketing industry where he remained until 2009, running his own companies and working up to senior level in several Dot Com businesses until the call to return to the workshop became too strong to resist.

Pete then spent some time looking around for a wreck to restore until deciding quite literally to return to the drawing board. He remembered the pram dinghy designed and built for him at the age of four which had retractable launching wheels and, still having the original drawings, he applied that concept to a new design of dinghy which complies with the Recreational Craft Directive.

Kris - Marine Electrical Technician

Kris has over 15 years’ experience designing, installing and maintaining various electrical and electronic systems including Bluetooth, VHF/UHF radio based systems from basic mains spur installation through to electronic repairs at component level and writing custom software for bespoke interfaces. Now qualified BMET (British Marine Electrical Technician) and NMEA MEI (Marine Electronic Installer) under the British Marine BMEEA scheme. Kris is keen cyclist of the type that overtakes cars in a 30mph zone without apparent effort and spends rest of his time programming Full HD cycle simulation software or designing and building electronics.

Danielle - Junior Boatbuilder

Danii as she prefers to be called joined us in September 2016 having started her boatbuilding career with the Morning Star trust then a year at Lyme Regis and back to the trust for another 18 months. She has the best collection of planes of anyone in the company and comes a close 2nd for Adze’s. Has a real love for traditional boats, sailing and an obsession for tools.

Will - Apprentice Boatbuilder

Will is a young man who joined the company in summer 2015 as a part time General Assistant doing all the mucky jobs and has proved to be a lot more skilled than he let on. You never quite know what style/colour his hair will be from week to week although while at work it is generally either dusty or muddy. We initially took him on part time as he had caring responsibilities and we were able to offer him the flexibility he required. In January 2016 he was happily able to become a fulltime boatbuilding apprentice with day release to Noss Marine Academy.

Hugh -Marketing/Admin

Hugh formally joined the company in January 2015 to help with the Teignmouth/Shaldon Ferry refit spending his first 6 weeks knocking copper nails in and holding a heavy dolly against the bottom of the boat for refastening, quite a change from being a marketing executive. Hugh has been involved with the business over the last couple of years helping out with sales and marketing and he is also Pete's brother in-law.

Hugh's main role is sales, marketing and promotion including trade/public shows around the country along with advertising. He assists other members of the team including everything from sanding and preparing surfaces to painting and/or varnishing.!

Nici - Accounts/Admin

Nici has always been a part of the business as she is Pete's wife, so is technically the Boss! To start with she was the part-time apprentice, dolly holder, machining assistant for large planks of wood etc. As the company is now growing she is taking a more active permanent role looking after the accounts, materials ordering, invoicing, answering the phone and continues in the most important role in the company, Tea Maker!

Prospective customers are welcome to visit the boatyard though please make an appointment as we sometimes work away from base.

British Marine Federation - Member

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