What We Do
Berthon builds, repairs, refits and restore boats. Something they've been doing since 1877.
Nowadays it's anything from a small jet ski up to a vessel 100 feet long.
While they don't design boats, Berthon does build complete vessels from scratch working with naval architects. Lifeboats are an example.
Their work covers an extraordinary range of craft from luxury motor yachts for the ultra-rich to working fishing boats, from sailboats to hovercraft, lifeboats to naval survey ships.
The team has built a reputation for exceptional craftsmanship working in wood, aluminium, fibreglass and composites combined with a thorough understanding of developments in marine technologies.
From traditional rigging to fitting the latest GPS navigational aids and high-performance diesel motors. Finishes and materials must be the very best to withstand the stresses of the sea and extremes of temperature.
The workshops are spacious and well equipped, and there's something rather special about being part of a marina so close to the open sea.
The People Who Do It
The skills and enthusiasm of engineers and craftsmen are essential to the success of Berthon.
The boatbuilding and repair team is multi-talented ranging in age from 16 to 63. And most have joined through the apprentice scheme.
Fitting out a boat means teamwork.
Welders working close by carpenters, electricians alongside shipwrights, mechanical fitters in tandem with electronics installers - to get the job done on time the team must collaborate.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts as Aristotle said.
Why We Do It
Work at Berthon is far from repetitive.
Every project is bespoke - no two boats are ever the same. Which means every day at work is different, and it's that variety which keeps everyone stimulated and tests their skills.
There is a great buzz that comes from seeing a beautifully finished job take to the water or leave the yard on a trailer — an enormous sense of pride in the quality of collective craftsmanship.
While some boats are built just for pleasure, many have a real social purpose - saving lives, protecting our shores, undertaking marine surveys or fishing.
With the lifeboats, they've built for the RNLI the knowledge that they have helped save hundreds of lives in part through their speed and soundness is particularly gratifying.
The Berthon team brings together marine engineers, mechanical engineers, expert carpenters, electricians, electronic systems installers, welders, machinists, paint technicians, material specialists, experts in composites.
Many of the team have become multiskilled as a result of the breadth of projects they undertake.