The Southampton area has boasted a number of yacht yards going back 150 years. The western side of the Itchen has had Fays, Summers & Payne and Camper & Nicholsons. Slowly as the twentieth century progressed C&N ended up owning all three yards.
The Southampton area has had the infrastructure for yacht building for generations. C&N was a major employer in the area, taking on fifty or so Apprentices every year. Our senior workforce were from the last generations of shipwrights to have undergone training with C&N. Their knowledge and experience is the basis of our workforce today.
Take for example our workshop supervisor, Nick Bowyer: apprenticed with C&N in 1968 and was on that site with C&N and then SYS until July 1990. He has worked on yachts such as Puritan, Shamrock 5, Aile Blanche, Altair Ticonderoga and Belle Aventure.
Fairlie has usually employed a couple of Apprentices, training the next generation in the rapidly dying art of working on wooden built yachts.
Our Apprentices work on the day release system, whereby they spend one day at college and four days in the work place. They typically study City and Guilds Yacht and boat building and level 3 NVQ in allied subjects.
As many employers find our junior staff are very flexible in their approach to employment and often go out to work on their own.This pool of experienced labour is always available for us to draw on in the busy times.
The roots of the Company started in 1985. Mr. Albert Obrist, a Swiss industrialist and owner of a large collection of Ferraris, restored under his supervision to original condition, bought the Fife designed schooner Altair. For a number of years Mr. Obrist had felt that a restoration of a classic yacht to the depth and [&hellip
From 1987, and starting with the Altair project, Fairlie have been restoring traditional sailing yachts of all sizes
With the first decade of the 21st Century run its course, a few thoughts on the reasons why the designs of a third generation Ayrshire born yacht designer remain so important 150 years after his birth