Originally, Constables Boathouses were built by Doggets Coat and Badge Winner, Charles Constable. The boatyard now also encompasses the former Benn’s Boathouse. The boathouse was famous for traditional Thames Skiff and Dinghy boat building and the boatyard still owns and uses a Charles Constable skiff, built in 1872, which is possibly the oldest traditional skiff in the world.

The current owners restored the boathouses and have been here for over thirty years. They have a history of working on the River Thames, which goes back for almost fifty years and served their time as apprentice boat builders on the Thames. Three generations have now worked at the boatyard.

Messrs Benn and Messrs Wallcott mainly built skiffs and rowing boats, in the 19th and early 20th century, as did Messrs Constable.  However, canoes and motor canoes were also built, as was a large steamboat for a director of the Southwark Waterboard. Messrs Silver after the Second World War also built the Water Gem Class of houseboat at Benn’s and operated a small motor boat fleet. They also produced world-renowned mixers and restored classical Citroen cars displaying excellent engineering skill. Private owner boats such as skiffs and small motor boats have always been and still are stored at the boathouse as were private owner boats, berths and moorings offered to let. Traditional boat ironwork and copper work for rowing chocks has also been made on site.

In the early 90’s boatbuilding became difficult due to changing economic conditions. The boat rental business along the Thames also became more difficult as more operators in better locations became established. The Constables Boatyard joiner’s shop carried on the task of restoring cruisers and all works and produced some very fine joinery.

Today the boatyard works on any boat, fibre glass, steel, or wood, and offers a full service including hire, painting, repairs, maintenance, Calor gas, electrical charging station, DIY facilities and much more. It has a comprehensive joinery facility and maintenance shop. We also offer berths and moorings up to 72’ and skiff, dinghy, canoe and trailer storage is available as is WC and shower facilities, electricity and water points.

Constables boatyard




Narrowboat berths




River thames moorings