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Harry King & Sons Ltd

Pinmill, Chelmondiston, Ipswich, IP9 1JP

About Us

Old fashioned family run boatyard, boatbuilders and repairers.

Harry King & Sons Ltd has a long and rich history of excellent craftsmanship and customer service.

George Garrard established the boatyard in 1850. His apprentice Harry King took over running the business in 1898. The business was passed down the King family until Geoff, grandson of Harry, retired in 2005. The boatyard is now run by Gus Curtis who started working for Geoff in 1988 and, along with his wife, Sarah, now runs both the boatyard and the majority of the swinging moorings at Pin Mill.

Gus has both a farming and sailing background, and had restored his 60′ MFV ‘Adax’ and now proudly sails his Thames Bawley ‘Gladys’, which he re-built with Sarah’s stepfather shipwright Joe Dunnett.

Harry King, along with his sons Norman and Sam, built two boats for Arthur Ransome, the author of ‘Swallows and Amazons’, along with hundreds of beautifully crafted yachts and working boats over a number of decades. Sam also built clinker dinghies and we have continued to build them to the same design. Our experienced team is small and dedicated. Most of us sail on The Orwell and surrounding rivers and so understand the needs of our customers very well and go out of our way to fulfil them. Harry King Boatyard offers a reliable, honest, friendly service which is also good value for money.

We launch and recover around 150 boats a year and carry out out repairs, restorations and general maintenance on them. This work includes lowering masts, craning out engines, marine engineering, rigging, traditional boatbuilding skills, welding and fabrication, fibreglass repairs, and painting.

Pin Mill Moorings Ltd

Pin Mill is a hamlet set in a sheltered anchorage about halfway up the River Orwell. Once a busy landing point for barges and home to many small industries such as sail making, a malting (which is now our workshop) and a brickyard, Pin Mill in Ipswich is now generally known for The Butt & Oyster pub and for blissful yacht and dinghy sailing.

We service and hire out around 100 moorings in the Pin Mill Bay. Once we launch boats we tow them to their moorings or to other local locations. Our moorings are accessed from the public hard (which we sweep throughout the sailing season using a small tractor and sweep attachment) or the pontoon off the front of our yard, which we manage and maintain. The pontoon sits in the exact spot where Harry King's launching slip once was.


The kind of person that would suit working at our yard would need to love being outdoors and want to take on and learn new skills and experiences. Everyday is different with new challenges to think through whilst working in the yard and on the water.

We train up all of our staff and so experience working with boats is not essential.

We have employed lots of young people that have gained many new skills and gained in confidence, and have then moved on to middle management jobs in a wide range of industries including horticulture and even the police force.

We are a small company and therefore build up a good working relationship not only with each other but also with our customers and regular visiting yachtsmen.

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Harry Kings and Sons Ltd Pin Mill Moorings Ltd Testimonial
A Career in Boat Building & Maintenance - Harry King and Sons
Harry Kings and Sons Ltd Pin Mill Moorings Ltd Traditional Boatyard
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