About Us

The boatbuilding business started as Measham Boats in 1997 and was based at a farm industrial unit initially. At that time only bare shells and ballasted sail-aways were offered. In 2001, the old Goods Shed at Measham station became available, and the business moved there and started to expand. Soon fully fitted boats were offered, and at the peak of the market, 40 boats a year were being produced. Part of the attraction of the Measham site was that the Ashby Canal was due to be restored back through Measham along the route of the old railway line. This would give added business potential to the site including a marina, slipway, dry dock and passing boat trade. (Unfortunately the restoration has been delayed by many years and currently has no reliable completion date for navigable water to be back into Measham).

In 2004 Boot Wharf in Nuneaton became available to lease, and as the canal restoration to Measham had yet to materialise, it was decided to add a separate base of operations, that had the advantage of being canal-side, which meant moorings and passing boat trade. From 2004 to 2006 the site was restored from being mainly derelict to the excellent facility that it is today.

In 2007 a continuing decline in the new boat market meant that the Measham site became badly under-utilised, as there were no new boat orders to fill the workshop. It was with great regret that Measham Boats had to close in October 2007, and the Measham site was returned to its owners, Leicestershire County Council. Boot Wharf continued in operation through 2008 and through to the present time as Star Line Boats, albeit at a low level of boat building, supported by moorings, repairs, and quayside sales.

In 2009 two narrowboats were built for owner completion, a 57ft cruiser which was completed on hard-standing storage before being launched, and a 47ft trad sailaway, which was launched and taken away for completion. It is still cruising regularly in the area.

From 2010, the market is showing signs of recovery, but we are not expecting to build more than two new boats a year for the foreseeable future. We are currently building a full fit 65ft cruiser stern narrowboat with a spacious stern deck and a Barrus Shire 50 engine, having recently completed a day boat for hiring out. We are however continually busy with blacking, repair, and painting work that fills in between new boat building work.

Our Team

Tony Gallimore is the proprietor of the boatyard - Tony started boatbuilding in the 1990's and by 1997 had started Measham Boats. Since then he has been responsible for the fabrication of over 150 boats, a mixture of shells, sail-aways, and complete fit-outs. His background is in steel construction then in coal mining, where he was a Pit Deputy for many years.

John Mayes started with Tony in 2007 to carry out electrical work on boats. He is now the Yard Manager and responsible for quayside sales, as well as continuing with his electrical work. His background is in the design and manufacture of electric trains, when he worked for Alstom for 27 years. He then moved into IT, then managing a steakhouse pub, before moving into boat building. (Tony built John's narrowboat Pedantic in 2001-2).

Alan Perry is an excellent fabricator who used to be with Measham Boats, (where he worked alongside his father Ray), he then left to work at various jobs for several years, but has now re-joined us at Boot Wharf. He learned to weld and fabricate whilst with Measham Boats, but he is also an experienced painter.

Alan (Spec) Middleton is an accomplished metalworker and engineer. His background is in Goldsmith and Silversmith precision work, then in motor racing, and fabricating bespoke components for race cars and bikes.