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Privately commissioned by Professor Mayne of Cambridge in 1961, she has always been stored in the factory wet boathouse and maintained by Broom's for fifty two years, any work that has been required during her lifetime has been carried out by the Broom factory boatbuilders, including replacement of defective planking, caulking, and revarnishing. Classic boats are not only an investment opportunity they are a declaration of personal style. A unique 37 foot Purpose Built Gentlemans Motor Yacht River Cruiser, bespoke Lake and River Cruiser 37 foot commissioned in 1962 Twin Engine - complete refit 2013. A unique 43 foot Purpose Built Gentlemans Motor Yacht River Cruiser, bespoke Broom Admiral River and Sea Going Cruiser 43 foot commissioned in 1961 - one owner. The work of Andrew Wolstenholme is so prolific and diverse that he is known to many disparate groups, all of whom think of him as their own, and most of whom will never cross paths. The mid-70s, as well as being the end of the wooden boatbuilding swansong which Andrew understood from time spent working at a traditional yard at Glasson Dock (“I learned then that I wasn’t cut out to be a boatbuilder”) was a time of great enthusiasm for multihulls and early flourishing of the Gougeon brothers’ innovation of epoxy glues. Using the knowledge of fast semi-displacement hull design gained from decades of designs for Broom, Hardy, Birchwood and others, Andrew has designed a series of spirit-of-tradition motor cruisers for Cockwells, Star Yachts, English Harbour and Creative Marine. More recently, his 2002 design for the perfect trailer sailer was unveiled, first in plywood, then in series form in GRP (see our test of Kite online).
This entry was posted in Articles, Design and tagged Andrew Wolstenholme, Broads, Cirrus, cockwells, English Harbour, Juno, Landamore, Norfolk, Norfolk Gypsy, Paul Gartside.
Constructed of mahogany on oak frames, a bespoke build strengthened and lengthened for costal voyages to enable exploring the numerous rivers and inland waterways around the UK.


A current Boat Safety Certificate and survey are available, plus full original documentary history. So Broads sailors, for instance, will think of him as ‘the Broads yacht guy’, Hardy and Broom owners will think of him as the designer of well-mannered, modern, semi-displacement cruisers, Classic Boat readers, if the name rings a bell at all, might think of him as ‘the Norfolk Gypsy guy’; and dredging barge skippers and RNLI crews will think of him as the designer of stout, working craft whose beauty will be measured only by function. Yet amid all this, Andrew found himself increasingly drawn to the classic racing and cruising yachts of the Norfolk Broads.
The work might have been bread-and-butter stuff, much of it design work for the local yards who, during the ongoing shift to GRP production, had lost their dedicated design offices, but still needed things drawing from time to time. This was a 16ft (4.9m) catboat inspired by a long coast-to-coast tour of the United States he took a few years earlier in that American symbol of adventure, the polished aluminium Greyhound bus. Among Britain’s yacht designers working today, Andrew is near the peak of the pyramid; and his diversity is quite possibly unrivalled. In fact, halfway through our interview, we go to have lunch at the Norfolk Broads YC, where some of his designs are on the water racing. Andrew has had “a thing” about catboats ever since seeing them on the East Coast, many of them then, in the 1970s, still working the coast, albeit with conversion to power.
This was to provide, as well as restoration of old wooden boats, the desire for new, ‘maintenance-free’ boats that were aesthetically correct and able to join in the racing, given that the empirical handicapping system for Broads yachts takes into account neither age nor material of build; just results on the day.
The sheltered waters of the Broads, together with the need to find clean wind above the trees, has resulted in yachts with very low freeboard, low cabin trunks (the lids can lift when not sailing), long counters and tall masts.


Soon after seeing a Graduate dinghy in build in the school’s woodwork shop, he built a model trimaran, which his father later threw in the bin, under the assumption that, being in three parts, it was broken.
By obviating the need to take on the rough, briny oceans of the world, they have taken elegance into a higher realm, and were mesmerising to watch as they sailed surreally close to the lawned water’s edge, where a good-natured crowd, all T-shirts and beer at lunchtime, watched on, enjoying the late-summer sun. A planing speedboat, a rowing skiff, a steam launch, motorboats for Broom and Aquafibre and a few other craft later, we get to 1989 (Berlin Wall and the Bangles) and the design that is among his highest selling and most traditional: the Norfolk Gypsy, for boatbuilder Charlie Ward, who saw the popularity of the 19ft Cornish Shrimper and wanted a piece of the action. His parents came good a few years later, when they blessed Andrew’s wish to study the new course in yacht design being offered at Southampton College of Technology.
Andrew would subsequently design three more boats for Charlie Ward and, latterly, Neil Thompson Boats: the 13ft Urchin, 25ft Smuggler and 45ft Barge Yacht.
That was 1971 (Chay Blyth the wrong way and T Rex) and his fellow students included Paul Gartside and Ed Dubois. In 2003, his design of the Aquila 27 would lead to a collaboration with Cockwells that revamped that boat to the Duchy 27, but more than this, it proved to be the beginning of a new direction. Good jobs followed soon after graduation in 1974, first on Derek Kelsall’s design team for Chay Blyth’s trimaran Great Britian 3, then with Leslie Landamore, the job that brought him to Norfolk.



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