My Job - Simon Beer, Shipwright
My Job - Simon Beer, Dartmouth Shipwright
Who are you?
What do you do?
I’m a shipwright, offereing a building and repair service, from modern craft to beautiful classics. I specialise in wooden yachts and craft, but I also refit grp yachts and occasionally steel. As an experienced marine joiner, I design, build and repair boat interiors, superstructures and hull work, tailored to clients requirements. I can undertake refits for both commercial and leisure sectors. I feel very lucky to be involved in an industry that has always been my passion..
Where are you based?
I work around the River Dart in the boatyards at Old Mill Creek, Noss Marina, Dartside Quay and Baltic Wharf. I’ve spent my life in Dartmouth and now in Brixham with my wife Melanie who has recently opened the Southwesterly Gallery in Victoria Road, Dartmouth.
How long have you been doing this?
For over 20 years. I started in the industry aged 16 years at Dartmouth Yacht Services then attended Falmouth Marine College to train formally as a Shipwright. I worked with Cann & Pender, at the boat yard in Galmpton, before stepping out on my own in 1997.
What is the best thing about your job?
Variety - intricately fitting a new section to a classic motor launch like Peter Sutton’s Venetian taxi (photo opposite) and then moving on to the next job constructing a new mast for ‘Vigilance’, a Brixham sailing trawler. I get alot of satisfaction in transforming tired yachts by giving them a new lease of life. It’s also working in a lovely area and meeting the many interesting characters that live here.
What problems do you typically see?
They mostly arise from poor maintenance – any damage that lets in water will soon foster decay. Bright work varnish is particularly susceptible to UV and a lack of regular maintenance and re-varnishing is often the start of the problem. The solution is regular maintenance. Gelcoat repairs are also important as they prevent the ingress of moisture through osmosis. Always use the right materials for the job and don’t try to cut corners.
First Published August 2010 By The Dart