About Us

Robertsons is located nine miles from the sea on the west bank of the upper reaches of the River Deben at Woodbridge. Opposite the historic site of Sutton Hoo, we are a five minute walk from the Woodbridge shops and railway station with regular connections to Ipswich, the Midlands and London.

Woodbridge has very good road connections being close to the A12 and A14. Click for directions.

Robertsons occupies a site utilised for boat construction and repair for centuries and today provides skilled yacht repair, restoration and maintenance facilities with particular expertise in timber, but also GRP.  Historically, the yard has concentrated on the provision of first rate craftsmanship, respecting tradition but also welcoming new techniques and materials.

In recent years, a barge harbour has been constructed which provides a home for vessels too large or inappropriate for marina berthing.

Today, Robertsons services a loyal and regular clientele that have come to appreciate our skills and approach.

Robertsons Boatyard History

Lime Kiln Quay, was so named owing to its use as a quayside for the discharge of limestone around 1700, which was processed into fertiliser at the Lime Kiln located nearby.

The site has been associated with boatbuilding long before then, providing a location for the construction of Men ‘o’ War in anticipation of threats to the British Empire.

Vessels as large as the ‘Kingfisher’, a 4th rater of some 663 tons were constructed and launched in Woodbridge.  The ‘Ludlow’, a 5th rater sporting 32 guns, would have been constructed on slips running from the end of Woodbridge Thoroughfare to the Quay.

The middle of the 17th century saw the end of man ‘o’ war construction with the yard producing commercial coastal vessels such as brigs and packets.

Woodbridge and the Lime Kiln Quay remained connected with the timber and boatbuilding trade for over a century with Norwegian brigantines trans-shipping cargo at Kyson Point onto lighters which were then discharged at the quay.  Today’s Barge Harbour was originally a storage area for some of these timbers.

The quay and yard was first associated with the name ‘Robertsons’ in 1887 when the land was leased by Ebeneezer Robertson for his son.  At this time, Robertsons were building launches and small yachts and became more ambitious around the turn of the century constructing larger ‘barge yachts’ for which the yard became famous.

The main workshop was constructed in the 30′s adding to the original buildings that today are the offices and machine shop and in the late 50′s the Kestrel shed was built to facilitate the construction of Kestrel class yachts until the 60′s.

A jetty had just been constructed and provided a home for a multitude of small craft able to take the bottom and in 2001, the basin between the jetty and quaysides was dredged and given over to the use of flat-bottomed barges such as Thames Barges, Dutch Tjalks and Luxemotors.  With the increasing popularity of such vessels, this harbour has proved to be highly popular.

Still retaining the name, Robertsons continues to operate as a boatyard but with more emphasis on restoration and repair than new boat building, an objective still maintained to the present day.