Yard Background

Blue bow, Weir Quay Boatyard: Blue bow, Weir Quay Boatyard

 Although the maritime history of the Tamar River is long and illustrious and the original Weir (formerly Ware) Quay existed long before the Victorian mining heyday, a boatyard at Weir Quay is a matter of recent history only.

In the 1960s a man called Shadrack, assisted by Albert Boot, Johnny Hall, David Pearce and others, started to drag out local boats using adapted Morris cars and contraptions from the pages of Heath Robinson.  A cluster of boats were moored, hauled out and maintained collectively in a spirit of Corinthian cooperation.   

In the 1970s a boat builder from Essex, Brian Tankard, took over the site, amalgamating a number of strips of villager land, filling in Crab pond, making a concrete slipway and eventually getting permission to build a steel frame workshop with accommodation for himself, his wife and his son.   

The Yard became a commercial entity and thrived.  Brian's stewardship of the Yard was enterprising and individual.  A larger than life character, he finally succumbed to a stroke (from which he has substantially recovered), leaving his wife and son in charge of the business.  The Yard declined and was finally sold to Chris Nation in 1990, a moment or two before the receivers arrived. 

Winter storage, Weir Quay Boatyard: Winter storage, Weir Quay Boatyard

Chris Nation had a dream.  He was a successful London photographer and location scouter.  He brought his Sabre 27 up the Tamar and fell in love with Weir Quay.  He moved down lock, stock and barrel.  The move was not a success, and after 2 years, Chris was pining for a more cosmopolitan life.  Leaving the Yard in the capable hands of Bob and Warren he became an increasingly absent owner.

 The Yard survived, largely because of Chris’ private funding, but it lacked investment in infrastructure, which deteriorated steadily, and an owner’s attention to detail.  Chris tried to sell the Yard many times.  In 1999 he succeeded and sold to Michael and Lisa Hooton

Following Mike's death in 2015 the Yard has now come under the ownership of Andy and Vicki Higgins.  They are going to provide additional services, all with the intention of further enhancing the boating experience of their customers.

The rest, as they say, is history.