It stated in 1988 when Richard and Mark Hartley, keen Kestrel sailors were anxious about the future of their beloved boat, new build had ceased and it looked as though the Kestrel had no future,destined to fade away. Having enjoyed sailing the Kestrel so much Richard and Mark certainly didn't want to see it go and refused to just sit back and let go. To save the class they took the bold decision to invest in the boat, to redesign the interior and to bring the boat up to present day standards with a more contemporary appeal. They felt it was important to give the Kestrel a new look and to produce it using more modern building materials and techniques that would give it a new lease of life and a better future.
They soon set about the task of re-designing the Kestrel with the help of the renowned yacht designers; Roswell and Morrison. The aim was to make a new boat that would be appealing to both existing Kestrel sailors and to a new generation of sailors. Modifications were discussed at length with the Kestrel Class Association and with the family of the original designer, Ian Proctor, before carefully implemented them into the new design, the result was a resounding success.
Since those humble beginnings with the Kestrel the Hartley Boats team has moved on from strength to strength. Now building with pride, a wide range of beautiful dinghies including the; Supernova, Wayfarer, Wanderer, Gull, Osprey, Rebel Skiff, Hartley 10, Hartley 1, Hartley 12.2, Hartley Tender, Byte trainer, Cyte CI and Byte CII. The craftsmen of Hartley boats now produce a whole range of beautiful boats, each one reflecting the skill of the designers who managed to update and re-design the classic dinghies; Kestrel, Wayfarer, Wanderer, & Gull, in such a way as to be much more appealing, modern in look and spritely in performance while still holding true to the original class designs.
In the successful wake of the re-designs Hartley Boats have continued to work with Phil Morrison and Derek Clarke to design and produce a range of fine craft with the Rebel Skiff high performance sports boat at one end of the scale and a full range of entry level Polyethylene fun boats; Hartley 10, Hartley 12 & Hartley 12.2 at the other.
"We have come along way but we still love to Sail our Kestrel, we actively participate in the racing circuit and enjoy supporting the clubs and class association of this and all of the other boats in the Hartley Boats range.
We look forward to seeing you on the water soon, sailing one of our beautiful boats, of course!"
Richard & Mark Hartley
At the helm of the Hartley Boats winning team.