Drascombe Owners Club

We are pleased to announce the new Drascombe Owners Club....

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Drascombe Insurance Scheme

We are now able to offer you a discount on your Drascombe...

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                                                   Drascombe Katherine Mary                                                                                                                

  "Katharine Mary" the first Wooden Drascombe Lugger,

   sailing on Bradmere Pool, Near Drascombe Barton  

Drascombes from the beginning

A lot has been written about how Drascombes began, so we have scaled down the facts to make it interesting reading.


John Watkinson grew up with small boats on the River Dee, at the age of nine John built his first boat using boards stolen from the hen house roof, his parents were impressed that they responded with encouragement. He showed acadmeic ability as well as practical skill winning a maths scholarship to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth.

After a distinguished war service, John became the Royal Navy's recognised small boat specialist. he was loaned to Cambridge University to help design the first inflatable life raft.

While stationed in Northern Ireland, John met Katharine, a Signal Wren. On discharge from the Navy they bought and managed Kelly and Hall, a small yard building and repairing traditional boats. After several years, they decided to "sell up and sail", but due to bad weather and sea sickness they returned. 

Once back in Devon, John promised to build Kate a boat she would like, although Kate declared it must be "A day boat, so I could get home to a comfortable bed, have no boom to bang heads and have any engine fumes well out of the way"

The result was the first Drascombe Lugger "Katharine Mary". 

Knowing the prototype was a success, John took the first production Drascombe Lugger to the 1968 London Boat Show. They sold this boat within 20 minutes of the opening and came home with 18 orders.

There have been a few companies over the years building Drascombes, but since 2002 the license to build Drascombes has been with Churchouse Boats, when Stewart Brown (the then owner of the company) was granted permission to build them.

In 2006 the proto-type Drifter 22 is launched, the first new Drascombe boat for 20 years, she is well received, and is a popular choice for the single handed and family sailor's buying a new boat.

Move forward to March 2013 and Stewart Brown retires and sells Churchouse Boats to Simon and Sharon Harwood. Simon has been working here since 2002 and worked on the first Drascombe Lugger which was built under Churchouse Boats. Sharon joined in January 2010, working in the office. 

We shall now be using the name Drascombe (with the approval of Kate Watkinson) far more than we have in the past, although we will still be trading as Drascombe (CBL Ltd) 

As an interesting footnote - Sharon located 'Katharine Mary' in Lymington Harbour. She purchased her and she was then extensively refurbished at the yard and took a prominient part in the Golden Jubliee celebrations marking 50 years of the Drascombe Lugger, appearing on the company's 2017 London Boat Show stand as well as performing on the water in the Grand Parade at the Weymouth Golden Jublilee  event.