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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Ex-Sellafield man designs new buoyancy aid for boats

A Sellafield engineer turned boat builder is courting considerable attention with his latest creation.

Steve Beresford photo
Steve Beresford

Steve Beresford has attracted interest from classic boat enthusiasts after coming up with a new type of buoyancy aid.

He showcased it – along with the National Redwing boat he hand-built and a restored Tideaway dinghy he sails on Coniston – at the Royal Yachting Association’s Dinghy Show.

The buoyancy blocks are a world away from the brightly-coloured airbags currently on the market.

He believes they are more subtle, matching the craftsmanship of the vessels he is involved with.

Steve, the man behind Moota-based Good Wood Boat, said: “As an engineer I understand the importance of safety legislation.

“The work that has gone into developing these new buoyancy blocks is compliant with the Recreational Craft Directive which is the law on stability and buoyancy.

“We have created something that is solid, tucks neatly away and fits the boat properly.

“Commonly used in open canoes, this type of engineering has rarely been custom made for classic boats and we have had a lot of interest.”

The first orders were taken at the show for full sets to fit a Tideway. Other custom-built boat sets are tailor made to order. The core of Steve’s business still comes from building and repairing classic wooden craft.

He is the only UK boat builder with a FSC Chain of Custody Certification for use of certified timber and is looking forward to capitalising on his new opportunities.

Steve added: “I have two boats coming up to Cumbria for surveys and hopefully, the subsequent repair work. It’s only four years since I launched the Good Wood Boat Company and I get a real sense of pleasure that I can be creative, making a living as one of only a few craftsmen that continue the country’s tradition as excellent wooden boat builders.”

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