Landamores: The Elanco Storya history of building on the Broads
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E. C. Landamore and Co. was born when Ted (Edward) Landamore started letting rowing skiffs, half-deckers and Amy, a small motor launch, from rented premises on the River Bure in Wroxham.
Amy, a small motor launch, was used for day trips on the River Bure in Wroxham in 1923.
In 1924 Ted built Duchess, a ‘water bus’ and the first of its kind on the Broads, for Billy Littleboy, who was later to found Broads Tours.
Nikko, Landamores first motor cruiser was built in 1925, and the hire fleet began
Further motor cruisers, Myori, Kaori, Ikari, Omori, Tama, Delta, Melba and Wanda were built in the late 20s and 30s to expand the hire fleet, which had become known as ‘Elanco Craft’. The fleet moved in the early 30s to its new home, and our current boatyard, in Hoveton.
Empress, a 2nd water bus, was built for Billy Littleboy in the early 30s
Vesta 1 and 2 were built in 1938 to join the Elanco fleet. The Vesta was a 32’, 4 berth motor cruiser and it went on to form the core of our hire fleet. Vesta 3 and 4 followed in 1939.
The onset of war saw Landamores, like most other boat builders, shut-up shop. The company soon re-opened and focused on the war effort, initially making household goods and Nissen hut ends before being commissioned to build boats for the war effort.
Landamores first wartime commissions were for Nissen hut ends but they also went on to make ammunition boxes, wooden mine-sweeping floats and household goods (clothes horses, stepladders and ironing boards) throughout the war years.
In 1941 the yard was able to return to boat building with an order for clinker-built ship's lifeboats.
RAF Air-Sea Rescue Launches
In 1942 the main building shop was extended to make room for the construction of two 65’ RAF Air-sea rescue launches. These high-speed craft had three engines and were constructed with double diagonal mahogany planking.
Between 1943 and the end of the war eleven 45’ Admiralty Harbour Launches were built. These were round bilged vessels with double diagonal larch planking.
The end of the war saw the return of boating on the Norfolk Broads and Landamores were able to start operating their hire fleet once again. The pre-war fleet was soon supplemented with new craft, designed and built by Ted.
12 further Vestas were built between 1946 and 1949 to join the fleet and to replace some of the earlier boats that were sold off.
In 1949 Ted designed and built a new model for the hire fleet, the Vestella, bigger than the Vesta at 35’ it could accommodate 5 people. 7 were built between 1949 and 1955
Ted also designed and built a smaller model, the Vestina. She was a 2-3 berth aft cockpit cruiser, 6 Vestinas were built between 1953 and 1958.
Velanda, a 30’ 4 berth motor cruiser with a more modern styling, was designed and built in 1963 to be added to the hire fleet. 4 were built from 1963 to 1965
In 1967 the hire fleet, at this point numbering 23 in total, were sold to Jenners of Thorpe so that Landamores, now under the helm of Ted’s son Leslie, could focus on building private craft.
Building for Pleasure
Whilst the winter months were filled by building and maintaining the hire fleet, the summer, when all the boats were being used, allowed time for Landamores to build boats for private ownership. This work became more and more important to the company before eventually taking over as the mainstay of the business under Ted’s son Leslie’s leadership.
The list below is not exhaustive but details a large number of the boats that were built by Landamores during this period. The vast majority of them were designed by Leslie Landamore, who was a skilled naval architect.
Slipper Stern Launch
3 slipper stern launches were built in the 50s for the Three Horseshoes pub in Hoveton
A Norfolk Punt, Snark (number 49),was built by Landamores in 1956 and is still raced today at the Norfolk Punt Club. She was one of the first to be built from plywood.
9’6 and 11’6 lugsail dinghies, the ‘Landamores Lapstrake’ design were built between 1956 and 1966 and around 60 were made. Later, moulds were taken off of both dinghies and GRP versions were made.
In 1956 Mischievous Miss (11’6) was built, closely followed by the more popular Miss Mischief (12’9). These were small speedboats that were capable of 35mph!
The popular Bittern Dinghy was designed by Leslie in 1960 and around 60 were built by Landamores
Sparklet, a National 12 dinghy, was designed in 1961 and proved very popular. Around 60 were built between 1961 and 1967, one of which (N2153 'Reflection', sailed by Robin Steavenson) won the Burton Cup in 1966. http://www.national12.org/boats
Eclan, an elegant motor cruiser based on the Vestella, but bigger at 37’, was built in 1962. She is now known as Snowgoose and can still be seen on the Broads.
Landamores designed and built 11 19’ day launches from 1965
The Yeoman was originally designed, by Leslie, for Eric Yeoman who wanted a boat of similar performance to a White Boat (Y&BOD) but with simpler rigging. The first was launched in 1969 and was stripped planked, it is now on display in the Museum of the Broads. The design proved popular, so a mould was made, and a fibreglass version built. The Yeoman has been popular ever since and is raced on the Norfolk Broads and further afield. For more information click here.
The Kinsman, a drop keel version of the Yeoman, was developed for easy trailing and launching.
Out to Sea
By the Late 60s, the focus of the work at Landamores was shifting again and a number of estuary and sea-going boats were appearing amongst the Broads cruisers, launches and dinghies. The emergence of GRP was also having an effect, with Landamores making plugs for mould tools and gradually fitting out more GRP hulls and building fewer wooden ones.
The Otter class (36’ and 40’) were sea-going twin engine motor yachts, the first was built in 1967. Designed by J Francis Jones, Julia Gee was followed by Son of Zeus and then Kailmora.
4 Hustler 30s, designed by Holman and Pye, were fitted out during 1969. The Hustler range were marketed by Island Boat Sales.
The Hustler 35 was the next in the Hustler range and the first was built in 1970. In total, around 130 Hustlers (of various models) were built by Landamores.
In 1972 a Hustler 25.5 named UFO was built for Richard Matthews, who would go on to found Oyster Marine and work in partnership with Landamores for many years.
The UFO class (27’, 31’ and 34’) were launched in 1973. Following the success of Richard Matthew’s first UFO, others were developed. Richard’s UFO 34 was so successful that all his friends wanted one too and Oyster Marine was founded!
The World is our Oyster
The success of the Hustler and UFO range led Richard Matthews to found Oyster Marine in 1973, with Landamores as their builder. The relationship was hugely successful and both Landamores and Oyster Marine flourished, turning out high quality, hand-built cruising yachts that have become world renowned. By the late 70s Leslie’s son Anthony was on board and he took over the running of the company in the 80s. Anthony was instrumental in Landamores’ growth and development to keep pace with the demand for bigger and better Oyster Yachts.
Landamores always kept close to their roots though, producing several Broads boats alongside the luxury Oysters. Landamores have built far too many Oysters to list here but some of the key models are shown below.
In 1977 the first Oyster 37, Botkill was built, she was shown at the 1978 London Boatshow.
Ostrea, Richard Matthew’s Oyster 39, was built in 1978 and was the first to be designed as a ‘cruising’ Oyster. This cruising yacht found the niche for a combination of luxury and performance that Oyster have made their own ever since.
In 1981 the Oyster 46, designed by Holman and Pye, was a cruising Oyster with a centre cockpit and the first deck saloon yacht; a concept that revolutionised cruising yacht design.
Melinda, built in 1983 was the first Elanco 28. Designed for racing in the River Cruiser Class and cruising on the Broads she was originally owned by Anthony Landamore and still races very successfully. A number of other Elanco 28 hulls were supplied to be fitted out by other builders and they can be seen regularly on the Broads.
Oyster 53 and 55
Production of the Oyster 53 and 55 began in 1986. These models proved to be very popular as they were large yachts that were designed to be sailed by 2 people. Anything larger is likely to need a professional crew on board!
in 1990 an Elanco 30, Matilda, was built for Anthony, whose family had outgrown Melinda. Matilda is a 5 berth river cruiser that races well and is comfortable for cruising the Broads. Matilda was the first of the River Cruiser Class to be rigged with a fixed topsail, an innovation of Anthony’s that has now become standard on most gaff rigged Broads cruisers. Anthony is still regularly racing Matilda on the Broads.
The first Oyster 80, Free Spirit, was built in 1993. Configured with a deck saloon, the 80 was the pinnacle of luxury cruising; an ocean-going yacht with world wide capability she (like all of her smaller sisters) had all the facilities and mod-cons of a home on-board.
In the late 90s the Oyster 72 was in production. She had a sleek design and was a higher performance yacht that the typical cruising Oysters had been.
Tiky came to the yard in 2009 for a full refurbishment. She was the first steel hulled boat fitted out by Landamores and had her interior upgraded to a hand-built Oyster-style fit-out. Read more here.
Continuing the Story
In 2012 Oyster, who were by then known as Oyster Yachts and no-longer owned by Richard Matthews, decided to take all their building in-house and our long association with them ended. Landamores, still under the leadership of Anthony but now with three members of the next generation on board, have been busy working on exciting new products and are continuing to build beautifully crafted, quality boats in our Norfolk boatyard.
We have a Jersey 36 in build – this model is a luxury version of the original Jersey 36; it will be a Jersey with an Oyster-style, hand-built interior. She is due for completion in 2018.
Landamores took over Bridge Broad Marina in Wroxham in 2017. This beautiful spot was better known as the boatyard of Porter and Haylett and is just upstream of Wroxham Bridge. We have year-round moorings available and have already begun a programme of improvements to a marina that had previously been rather neglected.
Our new Mayfly 16, Nymph, was launched in May 2018. She's a beautiful boat with a torqeedo electric pod motor that sits below the hull, leaving the cockpit completely open and free of the usual engine box. She's fitted out as a 'standard' model, with mahogany deck inlays, coving and seats all varnished to a high-gloss finish.