About us

Tucker Designs have been in the business of designing yachts and small craft since 1953 – the beginning of the post war plywood boatbuilding boom. Many of the designs in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were household names amongst the yachting fraternity. The name Robert Tucker became synonymous with chine plywood and bilge keel designs, notably the Silhouette II, Debutante, Ballerina, and Caprice. These boats were built by both professional yards and amateur builders. The plywood revolution pioneered amateur boatbuilding. Even today there remain many requests for reprints of the older designs as people rebuild dilapidated boats.

Over the years the business has changed and since the late 60’s steel as a building material has played a more prominent part in the development of the company. Steel designs are produced in multi-chine and round bilge formats. The company has pioneered and developed a number of new construction methods; eg. radius chine originally developed in the mid 1960’s combining plywood panels with strip plank round bilge, subsequently used on the production aluminium alloy design Sarum; strip chine for simplistic steel construction, taking the edge off hard chine, originally used on the plywood Matilda subsequently the Ryton steel series and many others; the transverse plating system used on many round bilge steel and aluminium designs alleviating the need for rolling and wheeling, but still requiring a small press, was developed jointly between ourselves and Croft Marine in the late 1980’s: The first boat constructed by this method th Calliope 339(10.3m) RADDY has completed an estimated 50,000nmiles since first launch including a circumnavigation.

Although not particularly known for motor boat designs those produced have frequently endured and remained saleable in the production market, names such as Moonraker 36, Aquabell 27, Lochin 32. In addition specialist commercial designs, mostly in steel, for fishing, civil engineering, passenger, general purpose work have been produced. The Husky 32 general purpose light-medium weight workboat has been built in the hundreds around the UK coast.

Today the company’s main design output, centres around steel and aluminium with the odd grp or timber thrown in.

Current projects “on the board” are based on touring wide beam barges also capable of coastal use as well as ideal for long term inland cruising throughout Europe: Oberon 17×3.66m styled as a cross between a tug and coaster has proved a popular size with two currently cruising, plus two under construction. Miranda, larger at 21.3x4m and aimed at those who may wish to do some chartering in order to cover costs, now fitting out; Huffler 40 follows on from the successful Huffler 10.5m motor sailer which is a very “Dutch” sailing barge in style, but with modern refinements (like a centreboard instead of leeboards and an all aluminium rig for ease of raising and lowering) thus providing more enjoyable cruising.

Paralleling the design side, the company surveys boats for condition, damage, insurance, valuation etc., and has tremendous experience in many areas and unrivalled knowledge of our own designs. Tony Tucker is a fellow member of YDSA in both design and survey categories and is an accredited surveyor for MCA, Charter and Workboat Codes, Boat Safety Scheme etc..