Our History

It stated in 1988 when keen Kestrel sailors Richard & Mark Hartley became anxious about the future of their beloved boat, new-build had ceased and it looked like the Kestrel had no future. Having enjoyed sailing the Kestrel so much Richard & Mark didn't want to see it go, they refused to just sit back and let it happen.  To save the class they took the bold decision to invest in the boat, to redesign the interior to bring it up to present day standards with a more contemporary appeal. They felt it was important to give the Kestrel a new look, to produce it using more modern building materials & techniques that would give it a new lease of life & a better future.


They set about the task of re-designing the Kestrel with the help of the renowned yacht designers; Roswell & Morrison. The aim was to make a new boat that would be appealing to both existing Kestrel sailors & to a new generation of sailors. Modifications were discussed with the Kestrel Class Association & with the family of the original designer, Ian Proctor, before carefully implemented them into the new design & the result was a resounding success.


Since those humble beginnings with the Kestrel the Hartley Boats team has moved on from strength to strength. Building with pride, a wide range of beautiful dinghies including; Supernova, Wayfarer, Wanderer, Gull, Osprey, Rebel Skiff, Hartley 10, Hartley 12, Hartley 12.2, Hartley 15, Hartley Tender, Byte Trainer, Byte CI, Byte CII, Alpha Trainer, Blaze & of course the Kestrel. The craftsmen of Hartley boats produce a bespoke range of beautiful boats, each boat reflecting their skill & the skill of the designers. Together we have skillfully managed to update the classic dinghies; Kestrel, Wayfarer, Wanderer, Gull, Blaze & contender in such a way as to be much more appealing, modern in look & sprite in performance whilst also remaining true to the original class designs.


In the successful wake of the re-designs Hartley Boats have continued to work with Phil Morrison, Derek Clarke & Peter Hobson to design & produce a range of fine craft with the Rebel Skiff high performance sports boat at one end of the scale with a full range of entry level Polyethylene fun boats; Hartley 10, Hartley 12 & Hartley 12.2 , Hartley 15 & Alpha Trainer at the other. 


  "We have come along way but we still love to Sail our Kestrel, we actively participate in the racing circuit and enjoy supporting the clubs and class association of this and all of the other boats in the Hartley Boats range.  We look forward to seeing you on the water soon.....sailing one of our beautiful boats - of course!


Richard & Mark 

At the helm of the Hartley Boats winning team.

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