TQ1675 : Boatyard, Isleworth Ait


Started by Benjamin Wood in 1962, B J Wood & Son boatyard is a traditional family business. Passed to Ben’s son Robert, and eventually to the current owner, Ben’s grandson Stephen Wood, three generations have now worked on building and repairing boats on the site at Isleworth Ait.

The core business in the early years involved repairing wooden boats and building small motor boats. Ben Wood bought an old meat-storage barge and built a workshop on top of it, which continues to be used today. Over time the yard has doubled in size, and currently has four floating dry docks for maintaining vessels.

Work at the boatyard is seasonal. In the summer, they focus on repairing and renovating houseboats, from static homes to Dutch barges. In the winter, when conditions are more challenging, the yard maintain passenger boats whilst out of peak season. Being a floating boatyard, all docking are worked around the tides, and supplies have to be carried across the Thames when the tide is low, or craned onto small boats.

Above taken from the website of the Thames Festival Trust: https://thamesfestivaltrust.org/our-work/heritage-programme/working-river/isleworth