A Brief History

Lake Yard – A Brief History

DLS back in the day

The Dorset Yacht Co Ltd and Dorset Lake Shipyard Ltd have been family owned and operated since 1938 and 1958 respectively.

Squadron Marine Ltd was formed in 1995 to construct a dock with pontoon berths for 50 boats and to provide new yard facilities including launching and recovery services.

Between 1938 – 1972 the Dorset Yacht Coy operated as a yacht and commercial boat builder, example projects included:

  • Sailing yachts to custom design and build (from 25′ – 35′
  • Motor cruiser to custom design and build (from 20′ – 75′)
  • Builder of the Arthur Hagg designed range of fast motor cruiser (from 34′ – 63′)
  • Builder of the Hargrave 50′ and 64′ motor yachts
  • Builder of the famous offshore race boat Spirit of Ecstasy
  • Builder of 23 class B Fairmile MTBs during World War Two
  • Builder of vessels in wood, GRP, Aluminium and steel

During the 1970s the Dorset Yacht Company’s association with the US boat builder Boston Whaler expanded resulting in Dorset Yacht being appointed as the sole distributor for the UK and Ireland. This exciting relationship continues to the present day.

In association with Dorset Yacht Company the Dorset Lake Shipyard was formed with the building of vessels in excess of 70′ and also commercial craft. It was decided for commercial reasons to introduce the word ‘shipyard.’ Dorset Lake Shipyard began operating as a commercial ship and boat repairer and example construction and repair projects have included:

  • Building 2 x 500 ton ‘Ton’ class Coastal Minesweepers of 153′
  • Building 5 x ‘Ham’ class Inshore Minesweepers of 120′
  • Building tugs, ramp fronted ferries, customs boats, fishery protection boats, survey boats, passenger carriers, Air Sea Rescue Boats, LCA Landing Craft, MOD Harbour Launches

In 1973 the company decided to concentrate on ship and boat repairs and contracts have included:

  • Care and maintenance of 124 US Army barges of 120′
  • Refit of RMAS Lighters (operated in Portsmouth Dockyard)
  • Maintenance and repair of MOD MEXE pontoons
  • Refit and maintenance of MOD work boats
  • Routine maintenance of MOD range safety craft
  • Routine maintenance and repair of RNLI Lifeboats