Mike Davies has lived on the East Coast since he was four years old and started sailing at an early age.
He bought his first business, hiring rowing skiffs on the River Ouse at Bedford and designed and built 10 foot and 14 foot sailing and rowing dinghies which he exhibited at the London Boat Show .
Moving back to Essex, he set up Marine Traders Yacht Brokers, covering East Anglia from Kings Lynn in Norfolk to Southend-on-Sea in Essex, visiting many boatyards, boat builders and marinas.
Retiring in 2004 he commenced writing this book, Essex and Suffolk Boatyards and Boat Builders completing and publishing it in October 2009. The original print run was sold in chandleries and bookshops across the region, and when they were gone, copies were later available on DVD, but it is now available again in print, albeit in a slightly smaller format.
In the decade since the first edition much has changed along the Essex and Suffolk coastline. Many of the yards described in the book no longer exist. However, no attempt has been made to update the content – it remains a valuable record of the history of the golden age of boat building and yachting on the East Coast
There have been great changes in the design and building techniques used over the years and as one reads through the book, these come to light and are illustrated with drawings and many photographs showing the changing shape of yachts and various materials used, from the traditional long established wood to ferrocement, steel, alloy and of course the most popular material used today, glass re-inforced plastic (GRP).