Boat Builder and Repairer – Dinghycraft.

For years I have been passing this place, meaning to pop in and take some images and a few portraits for my own portfolio. I wanted to capture Brian submerged in his environment and he was kind enough to say – ‘Yes’…

Boat Builder next to dinghy with plane in hand © Paul Worpole Photography

Nestled deep in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, in amongst the oak trees, is an unassuming one story brick building, where 82 year old Brian Herring runs his business called ‘Dingycraft’ and celebrates its 30 years this November.
Originally an old saw mill – you can still see the metal tracks in the ground where the logs would be transported.

The workshop…

Boat Builder workshop image of tin cans with brushes in them © Paul Worpole Photography Boat-Builder-workshop-showing-close-up-of-G-clamp-©-Paul-Worpole-Photography Boat Builder workshop showing G clamps on a white brick wall © Paul Worpole PhotographyBoat Builder workshop showing rusty old saws on a white brick wall © Paul Worpole Photography
As the double doors open your eyes adjust to the fluorescent lighting, showing walls overloaded with strips of wood, tins of varnish, rudders, ropes and G clamps…with just a few cobwebs for good measure. There are a couple of dinghy’s awaiting repair, a wood burning stove complete with his lightly battered, but much loved tea kettle.

He jokes “most people mistake his coffee for a cappuccino because of the layer of sawdust on top”

Most of his work is correcting poor quality workmanship…
His standards are high and his passion is obvious as he points out how to create a glue joint that will hold fast in any weather and two boats, one from 1958 and the other from 1965 waiting for repairs and a few ‘glass finish’ coats of varnish.
Originally an engineer at ICI, his hobby was sailing and when he decided to leave – his hobby became his job. That was in 1987 and he hasn’t looked back since! As he said, it’s not really a job if you enjoy it, and the only niggle he has as he leaps into a hull for some repair work is his knees – which are not as flexible as they used to be!

Boat Builder portrait of man leaning on hull of dinghy © Paul Worpole Photography

Redesmere Sailing Club…
Former Club Commodore and proud member of the prestigious ‘Redesmere Sailing Club’ a 25 acre lake and Royal Yacht Association club of the year 2016 – he is conveniently situated no more than a mile from his workshop which allows him to test his creations…and enjoy his own boats on most weekends.

Every day I get to do something I love…
Even at the age of 82, Brian still puts in a full eight hours a day. I guess the old adage is true…

Brain the Boat Builder at 82 © Paul Worpole Photography
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life!”

Latest update 26/02/2020… Brian has now officially retired and is enjoying his own boat on the lake!

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