As a local lad, David Cheverton, had always been interested in sailing boats. On leaving school he was apprenticed to Uffa Fox at Medina Yard, the birthplace of many fine small craft. A spell at John Samuel Whites preceded National Service in the Royal Navy before employment at the then Saunders Roe in their mould loft. Whilst working there he designed several craft, both power and sail, in his spare time. Prominent amongst these was 'Rumrunner' for local dentist, R T (Bobby) Lowein. This successful 28ft sloop was built by W A Souter in 1951 and performed well in local and offshore races.

In 1955 David, with two partners, Walt Ham and Alf Parkman started building the 1948 award-winning 'Caravel' 23ft sailing sloop at West Medina Mills, a deserted cement works on the River Medina. The company initially traded as David Cheverton & Partners (Production) Ltd. and shortly established a 'front office' at 31, Bath Rd., Cowes, retaining the building facility at West Medina Mills.

The boats
Current boats
The 'building yard' was at the old cement works at the end of Stag Lane on the isle of wight (named after the pub at the top on the Cowes - Newport road?).

Three old buildings were used and the smaller/lighter boats launched off the wall by a very old coal fired steam crane whose driver was known by the nickname of The Black Abbott due to the coal and smoke stains about his person and clothes! The primary use of the crane was of course to unload the bags of cement from the barges.
Meanwhile the design work continued and a wide variety of vessels were built at external yards to Cheverton designs ranging from the 60ft ketch 'Bondicar' and including successful offshore racers as well as leisure power craft.

New designs were introduced for in-house build including the 27ft 'Crusader (1959), Mk11 Caravel (1961), 'New Campaigner' (1962) and a range of larger sailing craft based on the 36ft 'Danegeld' built for Bobby Lowein and launched in 1958. (see separate note on 'Danegeld').

Most of the Cheverton craft at this time were built using kiln dried African mahogany by the strip plank method but by 1962 the general trend was firmly in favour of GRP construction. This coupled with the introduction of VAT on leisure craft caused a re-think in direction and the Company gradually diversified into the commercial market, initially using GRP hulls but subsequently steel and aluminium as building materials.

As the enterprise grew other satellite companies were added to the group, first David Cheverton (Design) Ltd, then David Cheverton (Sales) Ltd, later followed by David Cheverton (Purchasing) Ltd and David Cheverton (GRP) Ltd. Cheverton Industrial and Marine Services Ltd was formed to ship, commission and support group built craft, process spare parts orders and develop peripheral business opportunities revealed by the Company's mainstream activities. Each company within the Group was encouraged to be a separate profit centre.
In 1966, in an attempt to combat the high cost of UK build, the 30ft Cavalier was introduced into the range. Six of these high spec cruising boats were built at Wing On Shing shipyard in Hong Kong. To support the chosen machinery Chevertons for a while became the importer and UK distributor of the Arona range of small Italian diesel engines.

Production moved to Whitegates Yard just south of the hammerhead crane (Cowes) in about 1971 but by that time the commercial craft had taken over and no more sailing boats were built by the company.
The company went on to make a variety of other craft including leisure boats, boats for the Navy and the RNLI.

Click here for the rest of Chevertons history.
Click to enlarge this news paper article on Chevertons.