Repair and Maintenance of a Drascombe Lugger

Drascombe Lugger: Useful Links & Resources

This page provides links to web sites, where information about obtaining spare parts and specialist repair materials may be found. Also listed are mailing lists dedicated to sharing information about Drascombe boats. Information on useful tools, books and a metric to imperial conversion table are also given.

The left hand navigation bar provides an alphabetical guide to the contents. If any of these links are found to be 'dead', I would be most grateful if you could let me know.

The Drascombe Association

Drascombe Association The premier UK organisation promoting all Drascombe (John Watkinson) designed boats. As well as an excellent website (which incorporates a lively discussion forum), the Association produces a quarterly newsletter Drascombe Association News, and organises a series of rallies throughout the UK and abroad.


Lugger spares and accessories

A good source of a wide range of Drascombe Accessories (as well as sound advice), is Simon Harwood at Churchouse Boats Simon took over from Stewart Brown, the founder of Churchouse Boats, in February 2013. This company has an excellent web site with a wide range of accessories listed and priced to include delivery. Most items also come with instructions for use. Simon and Stewart (who is still involved with Churchouse Boats),are always willing to discuss particular problems and offer advice. Churchouse Boats will also undertake repairs and refits.


Another source of accessories - especially for older boats - is Honnor Marine, which is now located in Lancashire UK. Bob Brown took over the old firm of Honnor Marine in Devon after it went out of business in the 1990's. The successor company still manufacture the same range of boats under the name of The Original Devon Range instead of Drascombe (e.g. Devon Lugger). This is because the Drascombe trade mark is currently owned by Churchouse Boats Ltd. The Honnor Marine web site lists a range of accessories and includes replacement teak parts. They will also refurbish older boats (e.g. bring the buoyancy up to CE standard).


Classic Marine, specialise in supplying traditional equipment for Classic Boats. They have a fascinating and very tempting website with a lot of accessories to enhance a Lugger. For example, they sell 1 1/8 inch diameter Phosphor Bronze rod which could be used to replace the ugly galvanised steel pipe used as a sheet horse on the older Luggers. Also bronze fairleads and cleats, ash belaying pins, and a wide range of wooden and tufnol blocks. They will also undertake custom fabrications. One of these is what they term a bronze 'horse traveller' which is an excellent replacement for the stainless steel ring which serves as a traveller on the older Drascombes.


Epoxy Resin

Epoxy resins and associated fillers are an essential requirement for any boat repairs or maintenance involving wood or GRP materials.

A good UK source for Epoxy is UK Epoxy Resins. Epoxy and associated materials can be ordered on-line at very competitive prices on their website where it is also possible to download a concise but comprehensive user manual describing all the main applications and illustrating the superb versatility of Epoxy.


Outside of the UK one of the main sources of Epoxy Resins for boatbuilding purposes is West Systems (based in the USA but with a UK subsiduary called Wessex Resins). The West System web site is excellent with a very user-friendly on-line user manual and example projects illustrating the different ways in which their products can be used.


The UK subsiduary company Wessex Resins & Adhesives Ltd. maintains a good web site for the amateur boat builder/repairer with a wealth of useful information in a user friendly format.


Sources of Boat Building Timber

In my experience there are not many timber companies prepared to sell small quantities of boat-building timber by mail order. However, one such source is Robbins Timber Ltd., based in Bristol, UK but offering a world-wide mail order service. They have an excellent website listing their products together with prices. I ordered some Burmese Teak to make a replacement centre plate case capping and it was delivered within a week of placing the order.


A Source of Silicon Bronze Screws

You cannot use ordinary brass screws on a boat used in a marine environment. They quickly decompose in the presence of salt water with the zinc leaching out leaving soft copper. The screws used to attach some of the wooden teak parts to the Lugger superficially look like brass but are actually made of silicon bronze. These silicon bronze screws are very resistant to corrosion and even after 20 years are still holding strong on Sospiri. However, removing the teak transom board and motor mounting board for conservation entailed undoing some of the screws and in the process, the slotted heads were irrepairably damaged. Stainless steel replacements are usually fairly easily obtained (See A Source of Stainless fastenings below), but silicon bronze replacements are much more difficult to obtain.

However, as well as supplying boat building timber, Robbins Timber Ltd. also supply a wide range of silicon bronze wood screws which are listed and priced on their web site. Located in Bristol, UK they offer a world-wide mail order service.


A Source of Stainless-fastenings

Obtaining stainless steel bolts and screws of particular sizes is never easy and I often find that my local chandler never has the particular size or length required.

Seascrew supply a wide range of stainless bolts, screws, shackles, ring bolts (suitable for the Lugger outboard mounting board) and rigging screws which are listed and priced on their web site. They offer a world-wide mail order service on even the smallest items at very competitive prices.


If, like me, your lugger has a coloured hull and decking, (mine has an aquamarine hull and duck-egg blue decking), then you need an alternative to the white pigmented gelcoat. A good source is Churchouse Boats who can supply suitably pigmented touch up (10 ml) kits, with easy to follow instructions for about ten UK pounds. However, for larger quantities of gelcoat and pigments the best and cheapest source is East Coast Fibreglass supplies (see details below).



GRP Supplies

A comprehensive source of GRP consumables in the UK is East Coast Fibreglass Supplies. They have an excellent website, packed with useful information relating to the correct and safe use of GRP materials and they supply everything needed for GRP repair/construction. Items can be purchased on-line or by phone for rapid delivery. I have found their service to be second to none.

Useful References

A very useful reference in a handy sized book format is Looking After Your Dinghy by Terry Smith and published in paperback (1993) by Adlard Coles Nautical (ISBN 0-7136-3694-7). This very well illustrated handbook gives a step by step account of all the basic techniques needed for GRP and wooden boat maintenance and repair.

Photo of book, Looking After Your Dinghy

Book Looking After Your Dinghy An excellent DIY guide to small sailing boat maintenance

Dutch Drascombe Association

The Dutch Drascombe Association contains a wealth of information on all aspects of Drascombe boats. There are some superb photographs and copies of the Honnor Marine manuals for the Lugger and other boats in the Drascombe range are available for download in PDF format.


R & J Sails (Sailmakers)

R & J Sails are a small company that have been making sails for the Drascombe range of boats for many years. I contacted them in 2003 for a replacement mainsail and received excellent advice on sail size and configuration. The sail was delivered on time, was of excellent quality and has dramatically improved the sailing performance of my Lugger.


Collars (Masts Oars & Spars)

Collars are currently (September 2004) the manufacturers of masts, spars (gaff yard) and oars for the Drascombe range made by Churchouse Boats and the Original Devon Range made by Honnor Marine. Contact them if you require standard or customised masts, spars & oars for your Drascombe. They had one of the most interesting stands at the 2004 London Boat Show (hosted in association with Classic Boat magazine), demonstrating mast and oar making. One of the demonstrators was able to offer invaluable advice on how I should set about making a replacement gaff (Details of this will shortly be appearing in the Projects section of this site). Their website is fascinating giving a lot of interesting background information on how wooden spars and oars are still crafted using traditional methods.


Kielder Water Sailing Club

This list of links would not be complete without a plug for my home sailing club of Kielder Water in beautiful Northumberland, UK. Excellent sailing, excellent facilities, and equally welcoming to racers or cruisers.