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From sketch to sea

Owner and managing director Dave Cockwell expands on the design and build process at Cockwells…

Cockwells prides itself on its passion for quality craftsmanship and attention to detail, with every step of the creation process hinting towards Cornwall’s rich maritime heritage. There are six key stages identified by Cockwells when approaching a new project – from initial consultation with their designers; an initial proposal from their design team consisting of a stylist, an interior designer, a naval architect, a structural engineer, a mechanical-electrical engineer, an outfitting engineer and a Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) consultant; followed by basic specification, to build, sea trial and delivery.

At present, Cockwells is building six new tenders for two separate boats, including two very high-speed catamarans for a confidential client. The latter are full carbon resin-induced catamaran tenders, one limousine and one open boat, and are custom-built, reaching a very high speed, over 50 knots, and are approximately 12m LOA. While the catamarans are due for completion next spring, the other four tenders are due for delivery at the end of 2021; however, there may well be minor delays in the wake of COVID-19.

“Clients come to us looking for something special. The trend in tender builders is to go more semi-custom, as it’s easier to control the costs if you know what multiple you’re using and it’s a predetermined design, but our speciality is producing special boats that are more challenging to build than others,” says Dave Cockwell, owner and managing director, Cockwells.

“People are now looking for something that is more technically difficult and has a number of bespoke elements - and we excel at that,” emphasises Cockwell, and this is achieved through the use of different materials and propulsion systems.

“We’re designing the joinery, the structure, the seakeeping requirements, and even designing our own computer programs which run the boats...” - Dave Cockwell, owner and managing director - Cockwells

Cockwell’s proudly includes a full in-house design team within its offering to the market, both in terms of drawing design, structural engineering and software. “We’re designing the joinery, the structure, the seakeeping requirements, and even designing our own computer programs which run the boats,” Cockwell continues.

All of these components are completed in-house, and is unusual for this industry, but very reassuring for the client. “We take full responsibility for the whole product. The only time we’ve encountered any issues is when using other people’s product, so we try to reduce the number of sub-contractors involved in the process,” explains Cockwell.

The entire team has a full understanding of every component on its boats, which reinforces the strength of their service. “Clients are not just looking for a builder, they’re looking for a service provider that can look after them and the tender. From our perspective, this is covered very well as we’ve got a full after-sales team,” concludes Cockwell, illustrating the strength of their workforce.

Most recently, Cockwells has delivered a 7m Air-Sport tender, which is powered by a 250hp Yanmar diesel engine with sterndrive, and estimated to achieve a fairly fast 36 knots.

Key features of the Air-Sport 7.0, which accommodates eight guests and two crew, include a helm seat box, which could include an optional champagne chiller and height-adjustable Bimini, and a fill-in cushion for the forward seating to create an area of relaxation for guests. 

Profile links

Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding Ltd

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From sketch to sea

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