Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Fairey Marine

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Fairey Marine was a boat building company based on the River Hamble, Southampton, England, a subsidiary of Fairey Aviation Co Ltd.

1946 The company was created by Sir Charles Richard Fairey and Fairey Aviation's managing director, Mr. Chichester-Smith, to make use of redundant facilities at Hamble[1]. Both men were avid sailing enthusiasts along with Chichester-Smith's good friend and former Olympic yachtsman, Charles Currey.

In the early years, thousands of dinghies were produced by Fairey Marine including the Firefly, Albacore, Falcon (dinghy), Swordfish (dinghy), Jollyboat, Flying Fifteen, 505 and International 14's along with the much smaller Dinky and Duckling.

In the 1960s Fairey designed and built a range of wooden-hulled speedboats and motor launches designed by Alan Burnand.

In the early 1970s Fairey Marine switched to glass reinforced plastic hulls of the same design.

1977 Fairey Marine was taken into Receivership along with other companies in the Fairey Group when the parent company went into liquidation[2]

When the main Fairey company went into receivership the work force and the management did not want to be taken over by Trafalgar House or Rank International because they expected that those companies would shut the firm and adapt the site for use as a marina. The workforce wanted to stay in boat building and were keen that the National Enterprise Board should take them over.

1978 Sold Hamble Marina[3]

1980 The National Enterprise Board sold Fairey Holdings to Doulton, the subsidiary of S. Pearson and Son[4]

1984 Jack Barr took over as managing director and led a policy of new product development and introduced CAD techniques; developed new fast ferry designs[5]

1986 Fairey Marine of Cowes was sold by Pearsons to Marinteknik International of Hong Kong[6]

1988 The name was changed to FBM Marine

The company developed and expanded its range of products as well as acquiring a number of other companies including Cheverton Workboats, Brooke Marine and what became Fairey Marinteknik, the company was also known as Fairey Allday Marine; produced the Waveney class lifeboat for the RNLI.

2000 FBM Marine Holding, the ferry builders, was acquired by Babcock Engineering Services[7], a major UK based support services, facilities management and engineering company specialising in the support of defence forces worldwide, and renamed FBM Babcock Marine Ltd.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, May 13, 1946
  2. The Times, Oct 12, 1977
  3. The Times, Nov 24, 1978
  4. The Times, May 02, 1980
  5. The Times, July 28, 1989
  6. The Times, August 02, 1986
  7. The Times March 18, 2000