About us2019-12-04T11:36:57+01:00

About us

HMS was founded by its current managing director in 1987 and has since moved from its premises in Lowestoft to Southwold in 1989. Over the next ten years HMS built five new vessels including the strip planked simpson, 12m catamaran (currently in New Zealand) and built a purpose made boatshed of some 5000 sq feet, a chandlery of 1000sq feet and associated offices.

We have continued to provide a service to all types of vessels and have expanded our classic boat restoration side throughout the period from 2000 to 2010 where we further expanded in purchasing the premises of the Southwold boatyard – therefore increasing our undercover workshop by 4000sq feet, further hardstanding and another slipway. From 2010 to present day HMS have made further expansions by building a third shed gaining another 2000 sq feet, a new engineering shop, new offices, new pontoons and more recently the Southwold Harbour Cafe.

The ethos behind the company is simple. To provide a specialised in-house skilled team in order to offer an unparralled personal service to all boat owners at competitive prices. HMS recognise the commitment that many boat owners have for their vessel and aim to support them in any way possible so that they may in turn gain the best possible experiences from their use and ownership. HMS believe that by reinvesting in the company, whether it be on equipment or on personnel, that they will be able to continue to operate as a proper traditional boatyard offering full yard facilities. Boatyards of this like have almost completely disappeared over the last twenty years to be replaced by marinas with many different companies operating within them or by smaller yards using sub-contractors.

Over the last thirty years, Harbour Marine Services have brought together an unrivalled wealth of experience in general repair, refit and maintenance of all types of vessel.

We offer a significant advantage over other boatyards simply because all our works are managed and delivered by our own staff whom between them have all the necessary skills to negate the need to rely on subcontractors. With 20 staff we are able to design, project manage and deliver anything from the smallest repair to a new build or a complete restoration. We are able to provide detailed and accurate costings and these are updated on a weekly basis whilst we are working on your vessel.

Our staff:

John Buckley: Founder and Managing Director

Jill Buckley: Accounts

Debbie Field: Accounts

Jane Clarke:  PA to John Buckley

Emily Simmonds: PA to John Buckley

Mike Pickles: Foreman, Rigger and Laminator

Greg Brown: Foreman and Engineer

Laurie Copestake: Foreman and Boat Builder

Rolie Beamish: Engineer

Aran Pickles: Engineer

Matthew Riches: Marine Electrician

Chris King: Boat Builder

Paul Horton: Boat Builder


Rob Savage: Painter

Max Cronin: Painter

George Holland: Painter

Sam Webb: Boat Builder

Ethan Hart: Apprentice Marine Engineer

Andy Saggers: Boat Builder

Mark Bale: General Yard

Guy Brown: Winter General Yard

Darren Sampson: General Yard/Builder/Good all rounder

Ben Bale: Yard Apprentice

Tom Downes: Apprentice Marine Electrician


Annie Smith: Chandlery Manager

Kelly Allison: Chandlery

Sophie Miller: Chandlery

Ipswich Boatyard:

Roland Elworthy: Manager

Rachel Doy: Cabinet Maker/Boat Builder

Mike Tilbrook: Boatyard Assistant


Lisa Patching: Manager

Carla Sampson: ‘Foreman’

Gemma Burrows: Cafe Assistant