Pictured above, Harry and Joe.
Loughborough Marine Interests LLC has had q pretty good run of it these past several years, and Joe is a deserving fellow and long-time classic-boat owner. Restoration Quarterly:
Restoration Quarterly: You seem like a fellow with boats in your DNA. Where did it all start?
Joe Loughborough: In England with my father. He did a lot of ocean racing, and I started off in IODs at Cowes, and salt began to infuse my blood along with my brothers – starting in youngl We would vacation for a week or two on our 100. Such was my start: three boys, a dog, and my mother and father. Then dinghy racing, camping trips. We later had an 8-Meter that we were pretty active sailing and racing as a family.
RQ: Where to from there?
JL: In my teens, I finished school pretty early and at that time did my first delivery on a New York 32 named Proton II, from Cowes to the Canary Islands. My life theme started coming together then. “Wow, I can get paid to go sailing!” I was apprenticing in naval architecture at the drawing office of Vospers UK and realized that office life was not for me. So I did a bit of travelling, sailing, and deliveries in the Med. After a delivery to California, I came back to the UK. I was 19 then. So I trimmed my beard and hair, borrowed a suit, and got a job as skipper on the cruiser/racer 12-Meter Stiarna, sister ship
to Bloodhound and Foxhound. That was the beginning of my “professional” 25 or so years of running boats-from a Swan 65 to Huaso [Matador] and Whitehawk, to name a couple.
RQ: When did Loughborough Marine Interests get started? With what project?
JL: In 2002. After spending a year and a half at Newport Shipyard, my brother David and I formed LMI. We started vwith general yacht repairs, but the first big project was the restoration of Skylark, the 53′ S&Syawl [sister ship to Stormy Weather] with Dan Roten as head shipwright. It started giving us the ability to get to know the best shipwrights and technicians on Aquidneck Island.
RQ: Who’s the most extraordinary person who’s worked in your yard?
JL: Tough question. There are and have been many, but one guy who’s floated to the top in my line of vision recently is Dan DeLeiris. He is top-notch. I knew him for years, but did not really know his work and the ease with which he can tackle anything to do with boats’ But we’ve had a lot of very good people at LMI doing great things on various boats; quite a few IYRS grads too.
RQ: Last winter LMI had Dorade, Sonny, and Skylark lined up in the shop. Was that satisfying?
J L: As the yard has developed, it has given me immense pleasure in getting quality boats-and their great owners who love and care for their boats. That’s the joy of it all: accumulating great boats increases our visibility as a good home for wooden boats.
RQ: Do you have a favorite project?
JL: Skylark was great, but a little painful. Belle’s 20 years of upgrades warms me, but guess my most intense but satisfying project recently has been Dorade. The varnish is hardly dry. I became involved in this project in the spring of 2011 through conversations with IYRS, Simon Davidson, and Dorade’s new owner, Matt Brooks. In a rather short period of time she had all new spars,significant stem repairs, a new rudder, new hatches, all new winches, new engine and drive train, new galley and stove, refrigeration, nav station, rewiring, electronics, new plumbing, custom stanchion bases, new cabin sole, new companionway, rebuilt butterflys, new blocks, hardware and tracks-retaining all we could of the original materials and theme. We had 30 people or more at one point on the project, and nearly 15 entities-from Nelson/Marek Design and S&S, to the varnish and paint crews.
RQ: Can you share with us a restoration that is still out there that must be done?
JL: The one in the area that needs to be done is a 73′ S&Syawl named Petrel, if she’s still there and available. The last time I saw her was hauled out in Martha’s Vineyard. She is out there being slowly destroyed by weather. She has a fantastic pedigree with very pretty lines, but she needs some love and money.
RQ: You have a family.What do you do on the water when it’s not work?
JL: Thankfully, my wife and three boys are very long suffering when it comes to Dad’s passion for racing
Belle [a Luders 24], but thankfully we have Carinathe 1918 Lawley motor yacht-for family time on the water.
RQ: How does Harry fit in to your organization?
JL: Harry is the mayor of the Portsmouth boat yards, daily guardian of LMI, and timekeeper for the lunch truck.