Gates & Co is a traditional workshop that specialises in wooden boat repair and restoration. Formed in 1999 by boatbuilder Nick Gates, the company offers a range of services from winter maintenance to major refits and restorations. The workshop maintains a wide range of craft, from 12ft dinghies to gentleman's motor launches and classic cruiser-racers.
Nick Gates trained at the International Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft, Suffolk, from 1986-7 before joining the renowned Combes Boatyard in Bosham, West Sussex, in 1987. He remained with the yard until its closure in 1999, latterly working as slipway manager, and then set up Gates & Co (formerly Southbourne Boatyard), working out of a workshop in Southbourne before moving to Thornham Marina. Since Summer 2010, Gates & Co has been based at Emsworth Yacht Harbour, a very active boatyard and marina in the heart of Emsworth.
Besides boatbuilding, Nick has presented a 15-part TV documentary series for the Discovery Home & Leisure Channel called Getting Afloat, and appeared in the BBC2 series Boats that Built Britain, alongside
author and sailor Tom Cunliffe.
When not working on customers' boats, Nick sails the 42ft Scottish fishing boat Ocean Pearl, built in 1933 by Nobles of Fraserborough (see Gallery) with his journalist partner Vanessa Bird, their two young children, Freddie and Daisy, and dog Jack. He also regularly takes part in Old Gaffer Association events in the Solent, and races throughout the season in events as diverse as the Round the Island Race, Looe Luggers Regatta, St Wilfreds Hospice Race and Centenary Chase. A keen South Coast One-Design (SCOD) enthusiast, he has also competed in four Cowes Weeks in recent years on board Firecracker (SC69).