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Michael Dennett Boat Builders
Boat Builders Since 1950

Case Studies

The projects at Michael Dennett range from custom designed new builds, complete restoration of vintage vessels to annual/essential maintenance. Please view a few of our case studies below..

If you have any queries about one of our projects or wish to speak to us regarding another vessel please do not hesitate to call Michael or Steve on 01932 563448.

In the meantime please enjoy our catalogue of work:

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Two beautiful Italian Yacht tenders wintering with us for a 'spruce up' ready for Spring. These crafts will receive over 20 coats of varnish to create a mirror finish. Alongside the cosmetic works both boats will be receiving new Volvo engines.

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Casablanca

Classic 25ft Slipper Launch by Andrews of Bourne End Built 1936, with original mahogany sides and cedar bottom. Recent restoration work has included a new maple and mahogany deck. 
Vessel comes complete with; 
Stunning red leather upholstery 
Classic petrol BMC Vedette engine and 4 wheel road trailer .

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Wairakei II

Boat Type: Motor Yacht
Boat Length: 52ft
Boat Beam: 11ft
Boat Draft: 6ft
Boat Displacement: 26.40 tons
Boat Construction: Pitch pine on oak
Boat Builder: James Silver, Rosneath
Boat Year: 1932


Dunkirk Little Ship Wairakei II designed by John Bain, is a superbly built yacht, with accommodation for seven (in three double and one single cabin), and ample deck space, the Ministry of War Transport requisitioned her early in the war and she was commanded by a Lieut. Leyland. She had a machine-gun mounted on her foredeck and rifle racks all round her decks. David Divine includes her in his list of Little Ships used at Dunkirk and she is said to have saved 150 soldiers there.

She is Currently at the yard undertaking some winter maintenance and restoration work including having her stern chock and post replaced, a tricky job even for the highest skilled boat builder and Wairakei's beautiful crafted canoe stern makes this job especially hard to achieve. This has all be photographically documented, please see the attached gallery for some very interested and highly skilled workmanship.

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Lady Jane VII

Andrews Slipper Launch Lady Jane was our winter project, she lay deteriorating in the yard for 20 years until Keith Noble bought her as a finished project before we started! Works have included new bottom, new deck, new electric engine, new hood to name a few. She has taken 3 months to reach this level of perfection, and if I say so my self she looks completely stunning.

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Gay Venture - Lovingly Restored to Former Glory

Dunkirk Little Ship 'Gay Venture' was built in 1938 by Watercraft at Molesey for ex-Brooklands racing driver Douglas Briault. The largest boat ever built by Watercraft, she is twin screw, 45ft long, 12ft Beam, 4ft draft with a displacement of 23 tons. Her design based on the hull of a navel pinnace and is constructed from Pitch Pine on Oak with a teak superstructure.

After years of neglect, She was delivered to us in March 2004. She had a 6ft by 8ft hole in her starboard aft quarter, her deck had deteriated to such a state it was not safe to walk on, and her interior was derelict.

In summer 2004, she spent 3 month on the slipway, works included removing all her superstructure and making good, new deck of 1/2 inch pine matching, 2 layers of 1 inch marine grade ply and 1/2 inch teak decking. Planking was replaced where needed and stripped back to bare wood, seams filled and coated with epoxy resin then paint build up to high gloss finish. Port-side beam shelf replaced and two new rubbing band.

She was launched in Aug 2004 and since then has had a new Galley, saloon, heads, interior floor and has had two new 85hp Nanni diesel engines installed.

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Sea Witch

Sea Witch is a stunning 52ft Admiralty Pinnace. She arrived at Michael Dennetts for a paint and varnish job and after further examination of her hull once out of the water she required new rubbing bands and transom. Originally this beautiful craft was remarkably well built with a double diagonal teak skin and a mahogany superstructure, and an incredible 5inch thick transom which has just been replaced in Iroka, even her rubbing bands were a solid 6" x 3" thick.

Work on this large lady took two and a half weeks, seven days of which on the transom please view our image gallery below to view this process.

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New Build - Thamesis

Built as a replica of the Royal Shallop that was built for Queen Mary and King William III in 1689.
Constructed in 1996, the craft's hull, keel, stern and sawn timbers were built of Iroka, planking is
of 3/8th Brazillian cedar, oak is used for the steamed ribs and the six 15ft oars are constructed from spruce.

The fine carving at the stem and sax boards are painted in scarlet and gold leaf, at the stern of the
loot board is the carving 'Thamesis' meaning Old Father Thames. The craft has been constructed as
closely as possible to the original 1689 Royal Shallop design and specifications.

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Blonde

Boat type: Twin screw Ketch

Boat length: 36'

Boat Beam: 9'3"

Boat Draft: 3'6"

Boat Displacement: 12 tons

Boat builder: W. Osborne of Little Hampton
                                                                                                                            

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Lady Gay

Lady Gay built in 1932 by E.G King & Son at Westcliffe-on-Sea. Her 34ft 2ins of length is carvel construction made from pitch pine with oak frames. During World War Two, she served as a Royal Navy patrol ship. Her effort in 'Operation Dynamo' in 1940, earned her the prestigious 'Dunkirk Little Ship' title.

Lady Gay has been a regular at our yard for a number of years. Currently she up the slip for her annual maintenance and new engine installation and paint job ready for the 70th commemorative return in May 2010. Her 2 Perkins 4-108 Diesels are to be replaced by 2 new N4.50 Nanni Diesel Engines.

Boat construction: Larch on oak, carvel - built

Boat Year: 1927

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Vintage Chris Craft - Casino Royale 

A 1930's mahogany Chris Craft which has seen better days, has boldly been taken on and will be the restoration of 2014.

After much deliberation it has been decided that's everything including  the bottom on this rare craft needs to be replaced. Casino Royale was bought into the workshop shed in October 2013 and it is hoped to have her back on the water in Spring 2014.

Please have a look at our gallery to see her progress through the winter. 

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MB 278

Built by W. White & Sons of Cowes, Isle of Wight during the early months of World War I, the naval pinnace MB 278 was delivered to Harland & Wolff, Belfast, to join her first mother ship, HMS Sir John Moore, in 1915. Sir John Moore was a Lord Clive-class monitor, built to engage German shoreartillery in occupied Belgium during the First World War.Her next ship, HMS Raglan, was an Abercrombie-class monitor. (monitors were relatively small warships, neither fast nor strongly armoured, which carried disproportionately large guns). HMS Raglan’s displacement was 6250t, and her main armament was two 14” guns. She was sunk in 1918 following an attack by Turkish naval forces off Imbros in the Aegean Sea, but MB278 survived, and after 5 years in Malta, she joined the battleship Iron Duke in the Mediterranean, then went to HMS Barham, and later to HMS Resolution in the Atlantic. Her first major refit was carried out in Malta in 1929, and she received a new 22hp Ferry engine before joining HMS Queen Elizabeth in 1930, the first of the ‘fast battleships’.

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Bateau De Bois

This admiral pinnace is affectionately know as 'The Sinker'. After suffering in the 2014 flooding Bateau De Bois had to be raised from the bottom. She has spent 3 weeks out on our slipway to cure all structural elements. With beautiful lines this boat when finished will be a unrecognisable as her former nickname 'The sinker' Please follow her progress with us.

 

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Just before World War II, she was assigned to HMS Erebus (another monitor) and she nearly missed Dunkirk when, in March 1940, she was crushed in an accident in Portsmouth dockyard and sank. When hauled to the surface, her hull was badly damaged but she was quickly repaired and received a new engine. When the Admiralty disposed of MB 278 in 1948, their description of her hardly did her justice; 'round bilge ex-Naval hull of double-skin mahogany with mahogany shelter aft. Fair condition. No engine.’ In fact, she is of double-skin teak on rock elm and oak frames, with a third skin fitted internally athwartships. This partial third skin possibly represents the repair carried out in 1940.

She was bought by Thomas Duffy for £125, and when he died in 1983, his son took responsibility for her care. She was renamed Susan K, and restored and converted to a motor yacht with forward and aft cabins and a wheelhouse midships. In late 2009, enthusiasts John and Louise Dudgeon learnt that Roma (as she was now renamed) was abandoned and at risk of being scrapped, as she had fallen into disrepair, and her home boatyard was about to close down. They arranged for her transport to Michael Dennett’s boatyard on the Thames at Chertsey, and hoped to see her restored.

However, they were unable to proceed with her restoration themselves, so Michael and son Stephen decided to take on the task, and commenced work in February 2010, expecting to complete it by June 2010. Rumours that MB278 bares the scars of her Dunkirk service have recently been confirmed; repair of planking and damaged ribs were found in the bow where machine gun bullets passed through port and starboard sides. You may contemplate this event as you make use of the newly-fitted heads……

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