Drawing on three generations of craftsmanship in boatbuilding, our in-house team of master boat builders are highly skilled
and take an immense pride in breathing new life into classic motorboats and yachts.

From re-planking and re-caulking, to replacing rotten structural timber or laying a new teak deck, we can work on all types of projects
and provide bespoke solutions that preserve the character and integrity of a boat whilst creating an outstanding level of finish.

We were awarded the prestigious 2019 Classic Boat Magazine Award for Best Restoration >40ft for restoration work done on Carlotta,
a 1899 Bristol Pilot Cutter. We were also nominated for the 2021 Classic Boat Awards with Mustang of Christchurch.

” The work is excellent. In fact, you would think Sanjula had been built with the modifications that the Elephant Boatyard have now completed”

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

In 1959 Leopold De Rothschild commissioned Peter Thornycroft to build a fast, working launch to take him from Exbury on the Beaulieu River over to the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes in under 30 minutes, and in all weather.  And so Nigella was born. She was effectively the first prototype of the famous Nelson motorboats, and delivered style, comfort and exceptional performance.

After 44 years of service, Rothschild donated Nigella to the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall which is where we found her in a rather terrible state and brought her back to the Elephant.

It was almost a total rebuild which included replacing thousands of copper fastenings in her clinker built hull. With her elegant lines and classic Nelson hull, she is a delightful ‘Gentleman’s Launch’, perfect for cruising around the Solent.

It is said that the best things in life come in small packages, and Mustang of Christchurch – a magnificent 29ft classic lifting keel yacht – is no exception. She has had a whole raft of restoration work completed both inside and out, with her owners involved every step of the way.

She was completely stripped, with every inch of paint and varnish removed both inside and out. Various repairs to the hull and woodwork followed, along with joinery modifications to improve her layout and functionality. All done whilst preserving her traditional aesthetics.

A complete refit of plumbing, electrics and electronics systems brought her comfortably into the 21st century.

Beautifully restored, and with her tan sails, deep mahogany interior and classic lines she truly captures the spirit of this era of traditional boatbuilding.

We were thrilled when Carlotta – our resident 1899 Bristol Pilot Cutter – won the prestigious 2019 Classic Boat Best Restoration Award for restoration work done here at the Elephant Boatyard.

Having had some work already completed, Carlotta came to us in 2018 with further restoration required in order to get her afloat. The job list included replacing planks in the stern, fixing leaking seams, deck caulking, ballast, fitting a new stove, plumbing and extensive rigging work.

She has an incredible history, having been owned and sailed by pilots, princesses, viscounts, lords, criminals, Churchill’s cousin and even an illegitimate line of the royal family. She made a daring escape from Guernsey in World War II, has been laid over by hurricane force winds and has raced successfully against Twelve-metres.

Her formidable combination of strength and beauty is now restored!