After a distinguished war service, John became the Royal Navy's recognised small boat specialist. He was loaned to Cambridge University to help design the first inflatable life raft.
While stationed in Northern Ireland, John met Katharine, a Signal Wren. On discharge from the Navy they bought and managed Kelly and Hall, a small yard building and repairing traditional boats. After several years, they decided to "sell up and sail", but due to bad weather and seasickness they returned.
Once back in Devon, John promised to build Kate a boat she would like, although Kate declared it must be "A day boat, so I could get home to a comfortable bed, have no boom to bang heads and have any engine fumes well out of the way"
The result was the first Drascombe Lugger "Katharine Mary".
Knowing the prototype was a success, John took the first production Drascombe Lugger to the 1968 London Boat Show. They sold this boat within 20 minutes of the opening and came home with 18 orders.
Since 2002 Drascombe (CBL) Ltd has been the sole licensed builder worldwide of the Drascombe range of boats.
In 2006 the proto-type Drifter 22 was launched, the first new Drascombe boat for 20 years, she was well received, and is a popular choice for the single handed and family sailor's buying a new boat.
In March 2013 Drascombe (CBL) Ltd was sold to Sharon Geary-Harwood and Simon Harwood, Simon has been working here since 2002 and worked on the first Drascombe Lugger which was built under Drascombe (CBL) Ltd. Sharon joined in January 2010, working in the office. Jamie joined in 2016 and spends his time between the workshop and the office.
50 years on...
We are proud to be the builders of these beautiful boats. For many years they have been loved by families, couples, solo sailors, along with Scout Groups, Outdoor Education Centers to name a few.
Our customer database is not just UK based, Drascombes can be found far and wide, America, New Zealand, Norway and even Japan, the list is endless, this shows their ever increasing popularity.