Heir Boat Works is owned and run by Gubby Williams, who grew up sailing boats ranging from tiny lug and gunter dinghies to his family’s 50’ Fife sloop.
Additionally, he has worked as the hired skipper of a 64’ gaff ketch, a transatlantic delivery captain, and the master of an 80’ shallow-water vessel doing seismic petroleum surveys in Britain, Africa, and the Gulf of Mexico.
He has run tugs and other commercial vessels from England to Greece and Turkey and across the Atlantic. When he lived in Hong Kong he even had a 17’ sampan built to sail around that city’s bays and islands.
Gubby designed and built the 34’ gaff-rigged cutter in which he and his wife, the artist Christine Thery, crossed the Atlantic to the Caribbean before spending two years from 1993 to 1995 working with Joel White at the Brooklin Boat Yard in Maine.
In the mid-1980’s, the couple first saw a 2.5 acre site with its own strand for sale on Heir Island in West Cork. Four years later it was still for sale with planning permission and they bought it, building their own home there with a workshop for Gubby.
A request from a neighbour to build him a dayboat to sail around the area led to the development of the Heir Island Sloop which is designed for companionable one-design racing and day sailing on the semi-sheltered waters of Long Island Bay and Roaring Water Bay. The desirable features of a small modern yacht are grafted onto the solid virtues of a traditional working craft, in this case the old Heir Island Lobster Boat.
A sizeable fleet of Heir Island Sloops has built up over the past 10 years and up to 20 boats can be seen racing every Saturday throughout the summer in Baltimore Harbour.
Apart from Heir Island Sloop No. 1 Theresa, they also own the 33' Laurent Giles designed Brittany Class sloop Boomerang which is available for private charter.