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It was in 1897 that saw the creation of a shipbuilding firm that saw the end of the great era of shipbuilding in Peel and also changed with the times, building a wide range of vessels including fast sailing yachts, fishing boats for sailing, motor fishing boats, steam drifters and iron keeled vessels.
The firm started under the title of Messrs. Neakle, Watterson and Cashen, and they set up in business when the Graves yard closed earlier that year, operating from the same yard on the quay between the coal yard and the Viking Longhouse. They operated very successfully for over thirty years, and changed the site of the yard to more suitable surroundings on the mill road close to the old mill in 1907, then later moved across the river to the site now occupied by West Marine.

The first reference to this business was on March 13th 1897 and was as follows:- “the new firm of Messrs Neakle, Watterson and Cashen, who had taken over Groves yard, had on March 10th 1897, launched a fishing boat. It was named the Minnie and was built to the order of mister A H Bailey, Castle Street, Peel. The vessel is 27.5 feet long with 10 ft beam and will proceed to the south of Ireland fishery.

Then on January 1st 1898, it was recorded - “The splendid Nobby just built by Messrs Neakle, Watterson and Cashen, for the Dublin Castle Congested Board, was successfully launched on Monday morning. She was taken on a carriage along the Quay from the shipyard and launched down the slipway near the Railway Station. There were plenty of willing helpers, and the actual launching was accomplished in a smart manner. The Nobby has been named the “Morning Star” and will be immediately rigged and fitted out, and sent to her destination on the West of Ireland. The craft is trim and serviceable looking and will do credit to the good name for boat building borne by Peel. This firm has also secured an order for a second Nobby to be built for the Dublin Congested Board, of which Mr T Shimmin, of Peel, is the representative. The Nobbys fishing in Galway Bay have done extremely well at the late fishing, and the Board are continually adding new boats to their already large and well-fitted stock of Nobbys.
They have a repeat order and the keel of the new Nobby will be laid at once.

The following was published on April 2nd 1893 - “Last Wednesday week there was launched from Mr Graves’ yard, the Quay, a fishing Nobby built by Messrs Neakle, Watterson and Cashen. She is 26 ½ feet long, and 10 ½ feet beam, and is called the “Ruby.” She is built on the order of “The Dublin Castle Congested Districts Board”, and will hail from Clifton, Galway. A Peel man (Mr R Quilliam), is to be given the command. He has also been commissioned by the Board to instruct the inhabitants of Galway Coast in fishing of all descriptions.


Early in the New Year, a similar craft, was built by the same firm for the “Dublin Castle Congested Districts Board.” The vessel is under the command of another Peel man (Mr J Crellin), who is employed in the same capacity as Mr Quilliam, that is instructing Galway crofters in the art of fishing. Last summer the Galway boats had a very successful herring fishery, some of the vessels earning as much as œ300 each. The “Ruby”, is of a very handsome and useful build, and the builders are gaining a well merited name for trim and seaworthy vessels. The fact that they have obtained a second order from the Dublin Castle Board speaks volumes for the excellence of their workmanship.
The following was revealed on September 17th 1898 - “Another large Nobby was launched on Saturday, from Messrs Neakle Watterson’s yard on the Quay. Built to the order of Dublin Castle Congested Districts Board, and will hail from Clifden, Co. Galway. She is numbered 712D, and has been named the St. Joseph. They are doing a splendid work in assisting the fishermen of the Western Irish coast and similar work to theirs might very well be undertaken by the Manx Government. The Peel fishermen have practically no incentive to take an interest in the fishing under the prevailing conditions, which, were the Government to assist them in the manner of the Irish authorities, might land a new lease of like to a decaying industry. The “St. Joseph” is a large Nobby of 30 feet keel, and 11 feet beam. She has been altogether about ten weeks in hand. She is the third Nobby launched this year by this firm for the Board, which is ample proof of the satisfactory build of their boats. She is a very pretty model, and will give satisfaction both as a fair and foul weather boat. As soon as the Nobby is completed Messrs T Moughtin and J Wilson will navigate her to Ireland.
While in February, 1899, another Nobby was launched for the Galway fishing. She was the “Connemara Lass” being 46 feet overall, with a keel of 36 feet and a beam of 13 feet, and had a displacement of 20 ½ tons. There was a large cabin aft with sleeping accommodation for eight men.
It was recorded on June 24th 1899 - “A Nobby for Mr John Jenkins, to sail under the name of the “El Dorado” was launched from Messrs Neakle and Watterson’s yard on Saturday week. She is a neat looking craft, and an acquisition to the local fleet. Her measurements are 40 feet overall, and 11 ½ feet beam. This firm has received an order from the Congested Districts Board for a Nobby on the lines of one recently built by them for the Board.

Then on Saturday, September 9th 1899, the “Maria” a Nobby was launched.
There appeared to be a quiet spell during the early part of 1900 as the only launch referred to was on October 27th 1900, when a 30 feet Nobby was launched for Mr Healey, of Cahircaveen, called the “Saint Attracta.”
Further news was revealed on March 23rd 1901, the item being - “A satisfactory launch took place at Neakle and Watterson’s yard, Quay, on Thursday morning a 36 foot Nobby built for the Dublin Castle Congested Districts Board. She will be named the “Evening Star” and will hail from Roundstone, Galway. The vessel glided easily into the water.
They have two orders still on their books - a yacht for a Glasgow gentleman, and a fishing boat for a local owner.
Next came a report of August 10, 1901-


On Monday there was successfully launched from Messrs Neakle and Watterson’s yard, on Peel Quay, a trim looking 21-ton cruising yacht for Mr Harold D Jackson, of Glasgow, son of Mrs Stewart-Jackson, of Thie Jairg, Peel, and a grandson of ex-Deemster Sir W L Drinkwater.
Mr Jackson intends to use his neat little vessel on the Clyde. She will be named the “Bride” and measures 44 feet overall. All the fittings will be of a first-class kind. It is encouraging to Peel industry for local builders to have the opportunity of turning out a craft like Mr Jackson’s, and judging by appearances he will possess a trustworthy vessel.


A double accident having a serious and comic side occurred at the launch. The builders had to have the Quay specially dug up to allow of the vessel being launched from the yard into the harbour, and blocking the traffic by the “ways” was a great source of curiosity to the visitors in the town during the day.
At the appointed time for the launch there was a huge crowd of spectators, whose crushing was a great inconvenience to the men assisting at the launch. Even the presence of two policemen was insufficient to lessen the pressure of the crowd.
After being freed, the yacht moved down the “ways” and then became fast through one of the holding chains having broken. The matter remedied , she then “took” the water with considerable force. The “Bride” had a passenger on board in the person of Mr John Rawlinson, formerly of Peel, and as the vessel went over the end of the “ways” he was pitched head foremost into the water. He re-appeared almost instantly with the pipe he had been previously smoking still in his mouth, causing great laughter amongst the spectators.
Being a good swimmer he was soon safely on “terra-firma.” Meanwhile, a further calamity had occurred, Mr Henry Cowley, skipper of Mr Howarth’s yacht, the “Edith Annie”, was standing near the “ways” and was the vessel entered the water a beam upended, hitting him with considerable force on the stomach and legs. His condition was such that a medical man was called in, and Dr Kelman, after examining the injured man, ordered him to Noble’s Hospital, whence he was transferred shortly afterwards. Mr Cowley is said to be progressing towards recovery.
While on August 31st, 1901 the following was published - “We regret to state that Mr Henry Cowley who was injured at the launch of the yacht on Bank Holiday Monday, and who has been in Noble’s Hospital ever since, had his leg amputated above the knee on Saturday.
Mr Cowley did recover but spent the rest of his life on crutches.
The next news was published on February 15th 1902 - “On Monday a thirty-foot Nobby, not yet named, was launched from Messrs Neakle and Watterson’s yard, the Quay, the vessel, which is a neat useful one, taking the water with ease.”
Another launch was recorded on June 14th 1902 - “On Saturday a 30 ton yawl-rigged yacht named the “Ada” built to the order of Mr Hodder, of Queenstown. There was a large crowd present at the launch, which was effected with despatch. The vessel built to plans of Messrs Neakle and Watterson’s own, and looks graceful and speedy. They have several other orders on hand. At the present they have two other yachts laid down, one

for a Ramsey owner, Major Banaster, and the other, a small one, for Mr Caesar Cashen, of Peel.”
A report of July 12th 1902 stated - “The yacht built by Messrs Neakle and Watterson sailed on Saturday evening from Peel, with her owner, Captain F Hodder, of Ballea Castle, Caraline, Queenstown, and his wife on board. The yacht “Ada” is yawl-rigged and is 35 tons. Though intended as a racer, she has excellent accommodation for guests and crew. There is a ladies cabin, and owner’s state room, with commodious saloon, and altogether a very comfortable boat. The yacht sails were designed and made by Mr W E Teare, and were perfect examples of the art of sailmaking.”
“On Tuesday evening the following telegram was received by Messrs Neakle and Watterson from Captain Hodder - “Came in here (Dunmore) from heavy weather. Yacht behaved splendidly. Delighted with her.”
The next item appeared on July 26th 1902, it being -
The following very satisfactory letter has been received by
Messrs Neakle and Watterson, who will feel gratified that their
handicraftmanship has turned out so well -
I have much pleasure in expressing the greatest satisfaction with the yacht. We had her in all sorts of weather from calms to gales, and I find her go along fast in light weather, and also fast and powerful in strong wind and sea. I find her as handy as a five tonner. This morning I beat her up to the anchorage here, which is a very narrow channel, and although the wind was very light and she only had about twice her own length to turn in, she came up like an 18 feet boat. I have also pleasure in stating that everything on board her, aloft, on deck, and below, has worked perfectly without the slightest hitch. Everyone who has seen her up to the present has admired her immensely. All the people in Dunmore said she was the handsomest yacht that had ever been there - Wishing you further success, I remain, yours faithfully, FRANCIS J HODDER.
Then on September 6th 1902 - “A smack was successfully launched from this firm on Thursday, for a Ramsey owner.”
While on October 11th 1902 it was reported - “The cutter “Emerald Ray” built by Messrs Neakle and Watterson, of Peel, to the order of Major Banaster, of Ramsey, had a trial trip in the Bay on Monday, when the neat little vessel performed excellently. She is a shapely craft, and will do credit to her builders.”
While on October 18th 1902, the following article was published
about the new vessel -


The maritime correspondent of the “Ramsey Courier” has subjected the new addition to the Ramsey fleet of crack boats - the “Emerald Ray” recently built to Major Banaster’s orders by Messrs Neakle and Watterson, of Peel - to keen criticism, and the result is complimentary to the young firm of boat builders. He says “that the “Emerald Ray” is in advance of everything of her class owned in Ramsey, and congratulates both designers and builders upon the happy result arrived at, and hopes the Major may never have the slightest cause to regret the day that he went in for home industry.” On Saturday last, the “Emerald Ray” had her trial with another crack boat - the “Defender” - also belonging to Major Banaster. Notwithstanding the crew were new to the boat, and the sails found to be not quite perfect fit, the “Emerald Ray” finished close up to the “Defenders” stern.

The Defender is perhaps the smartest boat of her class in the Island. Another trial was given to the yacht on Tuesday morning, in a stiff breeze, which evidently suited the boat’s capacity.
The next year also proved to be a busy year. The first reference came on February 7th 1903- “A cutter yacht for a Douglas owner was successfully launched from Messrs Neakle and Watterson’s yard on Saturday.”
A continuation to this story was published on February 14th 1903 - “The cutter yacht “Kathleen” for Mr W Moore, of Douglas, has been fitted and put to sea on Wednesday to engage temporarily in the long-line fishing. The owner intends to bring her round to Douglas, where she will follow the long-line fishing, until summer, when she will be used as a yacht. The measurements of the vessel are - 47 feet overall; 29 feet keel and beam 12 ½ feet.
The next episode about this boat was reported on February 21st 1903 - “The Kathleen now fishing off Douglas. Her passage round to the East was done in record time - especially through the Sound and up by Langness. Then trim little vessel is winning praise from everybody”.
The saying that the Peel built boats were the fastest ships
afloat seemed to be reflected in the following which was
published on June 27th 1903 -


The regatta at Douglas was chiefly interesting to Peel folk by the reason of two of the competitors in the race for open or half-decked licensed boats being Peel built. The “Kathleen” (W Moore), Douglas, and “Emerald Ray” (Major Banaster), Ramsey, both built by Messrs Neakle and Watterson, of Peel, were respectively first and second”.
Another tribute to the firm’s skill was published on May 23rd 1903 - “Peel has ever been noted for its shipbuilding - the Peel built smacks of the middle of the century having a world wide fame. In view of the decline of the fishing industry, Messrs Neakle and Watterson are making a speciality of yacht building, and at present have two small craft on the stocks, one a 34 foot racer for Messrs King and Porter, of Liverpool, and a 32 footer for Mr John Wilson, of Peel. In addition they are overhauling a schooner-yacht “Bedouin” belonging to Colonel Moore, Great Meadow”.
An outline of the launch and details of the yacht were published
on July 4th 1903 -


On Tuesday was launched, the yacht Messrs Neakle and Watterson are building to the order of Messrs Porter and King, of the Royal Mersey Yacht Club. The yacht, which is named the “Lillian” is 34 feet overall and 8 feet beam, and will be cutter rigged. She is of the modern racer build, and is meant for cruising as well as for racing, having both forecastle and saloon accommodation. The “Lillian” is expected to sail for Liverpool today (Saturday), and she will take part in the club races on July 11th.
The story was continued on July 11th with the following - “The Lillian - the race yacht launched last week by Messrs Neakle and Watterson left Peel on Saturday for the Mersey, but was driven back early on Sunday morning by a north-west gale. A successful crossing of the Irish Sea, was however, made on Wednesday in comparative calm weather, Messrs Callister and Quirk were the navigators. The little craft departed from

Peel on Tuesday evening but was becalmed at Port Erin, and had to be rowed through the Sound. A feint breeze sprang up early on Wednesday morning, and the 79 miles between the Calf and New Brighton were covered within ten hours - a very satisfactory speed.
The vessel’s first success was recorded on July 15th 1903 - “Word was received from Messrs King and Porter, the owners, by Messrs Neakle and Watterson, that the yacht “Lillian” recently launched from their year, had won in a race on Saturday by nine minutes”.
A further launch was recorded on July 15th 1903 - “A cutter yacht measuring 32 feet 8 inches, and named the “Constance” built to the order of Mr John Wilson, of Peel, was launched from Messrs Neakle and Watterson’s yard on Wednesday. She is on the lines of the “Lillian”.
There appeared to be a slight lull in the trade then, as was revealed on October 3rd 1903 - “The lull in the yacht-building trade in Peel has come to an end by Messrs Neakle and Watterson receiving an order for a 40 ton racing cruiser for a Southport owner, to be finished in March next. The vessel will be on the lines of the yacht built and launched last year to the order of Mr Hodder of Queenstown, which gave such unbounded satisfaction.
Then on November 7th 1903, more details of the yacht were published - “Messrs Neakle and Watterson are at present at work at the 40 ton yacht, being built to the order of Mr Rowe, of Southport, which will be the largest vessel of its class ever built in Peel. The order for the iron keel was placed with Mr J Clague and Son, Ramsey, and it is noteworthy as it is the largest casting the firm has ever undertaken. The keel of the “rocker” type, measures about 25 feet in length, and has a total weight of 3 ½ tons. It is cast in three pieces, the centre block which is the heaviest, weighing 2 ½ tons. The keel partakes of the shape of the yacht, and deep slots and tongues are provided for connecting the pieces”.
While on December 12th 1903 it was reported that the firm had received an order from a Dingle owner.
The launch was the next reference recorded it being on March 5th 1904 as follows - “A large and interested crowd watched the launch on Thursday morning of a 40 ton racing yacht for Mr Rowe, of Southport, owner of the yacht “Dorothy” which is a frequent visitor to Peel. The “Ways” were fixed across the roadway from the yard, and the vessel glided into the water in the smoothest possible manner, promptly at 11.45am. The owner was present at the launch and was the first to board the yacht after she entered the water. The yacht is a very shapely and beautiful model and a credit to her Peel draughtsmen”.
A further report on March 12th 1904 revealed - “Messrs Neakle and Watterson’s latest production - the forty ton fast cruising yacht launched on Thursday week for T S Rowe, Esq., of Southport - is to be ready for sailing at Easter. Mr Rowe, who is immensely pleased with his new craft, has decided to name her like his former yacht, “Dorothy”. The iron keel of the vessel was cast by Messrs John Clague and Son Limited, of Ramsey, and weighs six tons. The “Dorothy’s” length overall is 61 feet. There will be three cabins - the main saloon, ladies’ saloon, and crew’s cabin - the fittings of which are to be pitch pine and teak, while the sanitary fittings are up-to-date. The vessel will be yawl-rigged and Mr W E Teare is designing and making the sails. Altogether the “Dorothy” will be a yacht of which Peel can be well proud.


This firm of boat-builders have also half-a-dozen orders on their books - enough work to keep a large staff busily engaged until midsummer. Four of them are for “Nobbys” two for Dingle owners, and two for local men - one each for Messrs Killey and Gaskell. Mr John Wilson has ordered a yacht, as also has Mr Jas Cregeen, of Port Erin. Both the latter are required in time for the visitors.”.
Another episode on the yacht was published on April 9th 1904 - “The lately launched yacht “Dorothy” had a trial on Thursday week in the bay and behaved very satisfactorily. Mr Rowe, the owner, intended to cross to Ireland, but the weather was against yachting and he was forced to postpone the Easter cruise for which he had prepared”.
The next report concerned a launch on June 4th 1904 - “A Nobby of rather larger dimensions than usual - 34 feet keel was launched from Messrs Neakle and Watterson’s yard on Monday in the presence of a numerous crowd. The craft is a trimly built, as all this progressive firms productions are, and the launch was in every way successful. The owner is Mr John Killey, of Peel, formerly of the lugger “Jane”.
While on June 12th 1904 more details of the success of the “Lillian” were revealed - “The racing yacht “Lillian” built in Peel last year for Messrs Porter and King is doing excellent sailing for her owners. On Saturday week she won a handicap sailing race in the Mersey, organised by the Tranmere Sailing Club, and in the Royal Mersey Regatta, this week, the “Lillian” again won, beating a new crack Arnside boat. The “Lillian” bears the great honour of not yet having been beaten”.
Then in early July a Nobby for the Congested District Board was launched for Messrs Neakle and Watterson’s yard. This was followed by a report on July 30th 1904 - “The new Nobby, recently launched, left for Dingle, to which port she will be attached, on Monday morning”.
A sign that the firm was still keeping busy was revealed in a report dated September 3rd 1904 - “Another cargo of timber has been discharged during the week - this time from the “Bessie” for Messrs Neakle and Watterson, shipbuilders”.
While on September 17th 1904, it was reported that this shipyard have had a very busy year, and on Saturday launched a 32 foot Nobby for the Congested Districts Board, Dublin Castle, Ireland. This vessel is of a neat compact model, and is a worthy product of this firm’s workmanship. It has been named the “Majestic” and will be sailed across to the Emerald Isle in the course of a few days some of the Board’s men having arrived to take charge. The firm have laid down the keel of another larger Nobby. This vessel was duly completed and launched, fitted, and sailed for her home port Dingle. She was named “St. Michael”.
The firm still continued to hold their own as shown in the following published on April 1905 - “Messrs Neakle and Watterson have been busily engaged for some time on a 36 foot Nobby for a Baltimore fishing boat owner, and it was successfully launched on Wednesday. It has not yet been named, as the owner intends doing that when he comes to Peel this week. He has great faith in Peel shipbuilding, a faith, which judging by the shapely new vessel, is well placed”.
The firm were also improving their equipment as revealed on June 3rd 1905 - “Messrs Neakle and Watterson are busy laying down a large new gas engine for wood sawing purposes”.

How good and speedy the firms boats were was disclosed in the same paper - “A telegram has been received by them from Mr Porter, owner of the cutter “Lillian” (built by them) stating that the yacht had won the Ailsa Cup last week, and adding that she has not yet been beaten.”
The next reference was on October 14th 1905 - “Messrs Neakle and Watterson, have their staff busily engaged on a 25 ton cruising yacht for Mr C F Egner, a well known Peel visitor”.

Details of the launch of this yacht were given on April 15th 1906 - “A launch ever attracts large crowds in a seafaring community like ours. It is not surprising therefore that on Wednesday last, in magnificent weather, a very large crowd should gather on the Quay to watch the launch of a 25 ton fast cruising yacht, built by Messrs Neakle and Watterson to the order of Mr C F Egner, of Ballaquane. The yacht, during construction, has been generally admired for her graceful lines, and it undoubtedly is a cleverly designed and beautiful creation. The time fixed for the launch was noon, and the yacht sped down the ways and into the water in the easiest manner possible. Mr Egner has selected the name “Dolores” for his new possession. She will be fitted with every modern adjunct to comfortable handling.
Even the veriest amateur cannot but be struck with the elegant lines of the new yacht. Build and rig have been designed in accordance with the latest ideas, but comfort has not been lost sight of, while the superfine materials and fittings used make the “Dolores” the most dainty production by far of anything yet turned out in the yacht line by this firm.
The deck is laid in best American pine, with the centre pieces and lights in teak. The steering pit is also fitted with teak. Chaste brasswork increases the finished appearance of the deck. On the rudder is inscribed “Dolores” with the name of the builders.
Below is a veritable wonderland of compactness and luxury. The principal cabin abaft the forecastle, is fitted with polished teak and furnished in crimson plush. There is ample seating accommodation, a most ingenious weighted swinging table (always level irrespective of the vessel rolling), marvellous sets of drawers (they exist in every imaginable corner), and every accessory to comfort.
The ladies’ cabin, sternwise of the main cabin, is, if possible, more luxurious than the other. Also of polished teak, it is most prettily furnished in green plush, with mirror and lavatory at one end. The lights are neatly curtained, and the sleeping berths can only be characterised as princely. Lockers for clothing and sundry other comfort aids, make the apartment such, that any lady could live here for a month with little desire for terra firma. In evidence of the completeness of the furnishing, even the candle-holders are of polished brass, with a handy arrangement for allowing the candle to move upwards as it is in the process of burning.
The sailors are housed in the forecastle very comfortably, and there is room for three. Another marvel of the multum in parvo is the combined lavatory and WC. The wash-basin closes against the side of the ship, and after using, the waste water automatically runs to the WC basin, where it can be pumped away.
Taken in toto, the “Dolores” is a beautiful piece of handicraftmanship. Mr G B Kermode supplied the upholstery, and Mr J Cannell has been responsible for the plumbing. Both sub-departments have been carried out in the very best manner.
It was reported on June 23rd 1906, that Mr Egner’s new yacht, the “Dolores” was brought out for a brief trip on Monday, and in a splendid fitting suit of sails (made by Messrs Teare and Sons) sailed to the entire satisfaction of owners and builders. The yawl of the yacht, which is the neat handicraftmanship of Mr Wm Lace, Glenfaba Road. This little boat is entirely in keeping with the yacht, has a drop-keel and is fitted so that a mast can be used if necessary.


During this period the firm disposed of their Nobby “Bee” and are building another in place of the one they sold. They were also busy transforming the old Nickey “Telegraph” into a trawler, for a Dingle owner. They have performed the work in good style, and the vessel looks neater, stronger, and more sea worthy than ever. The owner has named the trawler, the “St. Ita”.
After this the firm built and launched a fishing boat and then fitted her. Details of the departure of this vessel were published on November 24th 1905 - “On Saturday last, a Nobby for the Dublin Castle Congested Districts Board. The new vessel which is of 34 feet keel, and is named the “Star of the Sea” will sail out of Sligo. A Sligo crew will sail the vessel to her home port under the charge of Mr W Jones of Peel”.
It was also reported at the same time that this yard was building and expected to launch in two weeks time, a yacht-fishing boat for Mr W Moore, of Douglas, who had a similar vessel built here some four years ago. The vessel was duly launched and fitted and sailed round to Douglas.
The on March 9th 1907, the following report appeared - “The iron-keel - about 3 tons weight - for the half-decker which is being built for a Ramsey owner was cast at Messrs J Clague and Sons ironworks, Ramsey last week. The new creation is to be up-to-date in every respect, and is expected to be ready in time for next summer’s yachting.
This vessel was duly completed, launched and fitted and reference was made to its departure on July 27th 1907 - “The half-decker for the northern port loft on Saturday trim and complete. The dead calm made the voyage round the Point of Ayre nearly a 24 hour one. On Sunday the new craft, lying at the Quay at Ramsey was the cynosure of all eyes. The new boat is called “Ben Varrey” - meaning “girl of the sea” or “mermaid”.


On May 18th 1907 reference was made to the firm moving their yard from the Quay to Mill Road where Mr T Watson had part of his yard, the other part being on the other side of the river. The area referred to was that now occupied by N R Corlett Ltd., and the Peel Town Commissioners’ Yard and their area had been newly enclosed for them.
It also referred to them laying the keel of a large drifter,
which they were building for Mr C F Egner. Work progressed on
this vessel until in April 4th 1908, the following report
appeared -


Thursday, April 2nd 1908, will go down to posterity as an important date in the annals of Peel - the launch of the first Manx steam herring drifter, Mr C F Egner’s “Manx Princess” PL29.
The unfortunate decline of the sailing fishing industry to its present condition, has directed attention to any possible means of bringing back the smile of prosperity once more to our ancient fishing centre, and while suggestions have been made for many years to build “drifters” it has remained for a progressive English gentleman resident in Peel, Mr C F Egner, who has shown his practical interest in Peel in several directions, to take the initiative in the matter of placing an order with Messrs Neakle and Watterson to lay down the keel of one of these vessels.

It is to the credit of this enterprising young firm that, though they had not the slightest acquaintance with drifter building, they accepted the order, and wholly designed the drifter and have carried it to its completion so excellently that it is not too much to predict that they will not be short of similar commissions in the future.
The new vessel has just occupied six months in her building work being commenced at the end of the summer, so that she has been most expeditiously turned out. When the news of the order being given was first known it was received with almost jubilation by those interested in the fishing industry, and it is fondly hoped that if the vessel is successful it will mean the turning point in the fortunes of the Peel fishing.
Thursday was the ideal day for the auspicious occasion - fine and spring like and the sun shone out brilliantly at the hour fixed for the launch - half past eleven. Several hundreds of deeply interest spectators gathered in the vicinity - the side of Peel Hill overlooking the shipbuilders yard at Peel Mill, being the venue of a considerable crowd.
The builders had gone to extreme care in fixing the ways, everything possible being done to ensure a successful send off. On a platform erected near to bow of the drifter, Mr Egner stood in company with Miss Evelyn Christina, third daughter of Mr E T Christian, who was honoured by being chosen to perform the christening ceremony.
As the vessel commenced to move down the ways, Miss Christian dashed the bottle of champagne, which was suspended by a blue ribbon upon the vessel, and, naming the drifter the “Manx Princess” wished every success and prosperity. The vessel slide quickly down the ways, entering the water cleanly and neatly - in fact, the launch being everything that could be desired.
The dimensions of the “Manx Princess” are - length 100 feet;; beam 19 feet; depth 10 feet. She will be fitted with engines of 250 hp, and which will develop a speed of over 11 knots. The framework of the vessel is of extremely strong kind, and the engines highest grade and of the most up-to-date make. She will be lit throughout with acetylene gas. The outfit of nets is being supplied by the Gourock Ropework Company.
The Glasgow engineers who are fitting in the machinery have had some men in Peel putting in various parts, including the stern tube, tail shaft, sea cocks, and propeller, so that when the vessel will be towed to Govan in a week or two everything will be in position, to enable the “Manx Princess” to be finally completed with as little delay as possible.
The drifter will be under the command of Mr F Corris, of Church Street, Peel, who is one of the most experienced captains in Peel, and will carry a crew of ten.
It is intended to fish her in the first instance off the East Coast of England and Scotland.
After initial fittings were placed in her she was towed to Scotland for her engine to be fitted. Then it was reported - “On Saturday, June 8th 1908, Mr Egner’s new steam drifter, “Manx Princess” PL29, returned to Peel from Govan after having the engine installed.
The next report was on July 4th 1908- “She is now practically completed for sea. A visit on board shows that the “Manx Princess” is a workmanlike and thoroughly finished vessel, and one which should make a good record for herself.
Abaft are the sleeping quarters for the men, the eight bunks being models of neatness. They are screened off by curtains and brass rails, and the place is lit by acetylene and adequately heated; adjoining this is the galley and further forward the engines.
These have been constructed by one of the best known and reputable firms in the trade - Messrs McKee and Baxter, of Copland Works, Govan, Glasgow, and are of the compound, inverted, direct-acting, surface condensing type. They are the very latest and third pattern for steam drifter work, their speciality being to give maximum speed with minimum of coal consumption. The acetylene plant is placed in the same compartment
as the engines. An ingenious arrangement enables the apparatus to regulate itself. Between the engine room and the forecastle is the section of the ship for dealing with the herrings. The bulk of the fish go down through the deck opening into boxes at the sides, those remaining in the nets falling through a gridded platform, to be picked out beneath.
In the forecastle there is a further section for sleeping accommodation and storage for various purposes.
Spick and span from bow to stern, the “Manx Princess” PL29, bade good-bye to Peel on Wednesday, July 15th 1908, en-route for the Shetland fishing ground. The men are all ‘Peelites’ - F Corris (master), W Cain (mate), A Cowley (engineer), P Teare (fireman), O Cashen, E Moore, J Cain, J Cowell and L Greggor crew.
During the period that the drifter was being built, preparatory work for the building of other vessels was in progress. It was revealed on March 14th 1908 - “The iron keel for Mr J Clarey’s new half-decker which is shortly to be built by Messrs Neakle and Watterson was cast at Messrs John Clague and Sons foundry, Ramsey, last week. The casting is about three tons weight. As soon as the new drifter is out of their hands, will commence a Nobby for Mr Robert Gell, Circular Road, the keel of which has just been cast in Birkenhead.
The announcement for the launch of the Nobby was made on July 18th 1908 - “On Tuesday morning the firm launched a 30 foot Nobby for Mr Robert Gell - a shapely and up-to-date little vessel. Like Mr Gell’s former Nobby, she is to be named the “Cushag” and has been registered under the Board of Trade”.
The next launch was reported on August 22nd 1908 - “On Wednesday of last week Messrs Neakle and Watterson launched from their new yard at Peel Mill, a half-decker for Mr Rowan, of Liverpool, and which is to be sailed from Ramsey under Skipper J Clarey. The vessel looks neat and speedy, and may be expected to give a good account of itself. The keels of two more vessels have been laid in the yard.
A tribute to the workmanship of this yard is reflected in the
following which was published on August 29th 1908.


The maritime correspondent of the “Ramsey Courier” writes in the following strain regarding the latest vessel launched by this firm of shipbuilders - “The newest half-decker cutter-yacht “Caribou” arrived here from Peel on Sunday, in charge of Skipper John Clarey. She is the latest creation of Messrs Neakle and Watterson, of Peel, and is built to order of Mr W J Rowan, of Liverpool, for Skipper John Clarey, and will be used for yachting in the summer and fishing in the winter.
The “Caribou” is 46 feet 6 inches overall, 35 feet odd on the water-line, 13 feet beam outside and draws about 5 feet 9 inches. She has the orthodox cut away bow, raked stern post, and hollow bottom. In fact in many features, the new boat resembles the “Ben Varrey”, “Marguerite” and others by the same builders.
Whether she will show a great turn of speed remains to be seen, but one thing is certain, and it is the fact that from her ample beam and broad bilges she is bound to possess great canvas-carrying powers and stability, and these are features closely allied to speed. Is it not the craft which stands up to her canvas that makes the best speed, especially to the windward? As a rule it is, because when the stiff ship is pressed she adds to her draft, whereas, under similar circumstances the craft through careening over, lessens her draught of the water, and consequently blows away to leeward. However, be this as it
may, judging by her lines, it seems safe to predict that “Caribou” will give a very good account of herself. She is as strong as a rock, is nicely fitted below with every convenience for cruising purposes, and will make a grand craft for fishing. In short the “Caribou” is altogether a fine specimen of the up-to-date half-decker, and as such she has past muster among the Ramsey “experts” and I think Mr Rowan and Skipper Clarey have every reason to be proud of their new craft.”
The next report was on October 24th 1908 - “In the best of weather on Tuesday week, Messrs Neakle and Watterson launched from their yard at Peel Mill, a fishing Nobby for Mr John Divine, of Dingle, Ireland. The launch was in every was successful. The new Nobby is of 30 feet keel, and measures 44 feet overall. She is one of a great many similar vessels built by the same enterprising young firm for Ireland.
A second Nobby to the order of a Valentia owner is just approaching completion.
A very special compliment has just been paid to these builders. The Govan firm of engineers who fitted the engines to Mr Enger’s steam drifter, the “Manx Princess” in the spring of this year, have asked Messrs Neakle and Watterson, in view of the pleasing fact that the “Manx Princess” sails much faster than other similar vessels fitted with the same make of engine, to forward details of her design.
It is the intention of the Scottish firm to turn out five steam drifters, and they offered Messrs Neakle and Watterson the building of one. The members of the firm have reason to feel proud of this tribute to the excellence of their work.”
Business was brisk as was revealed on October 31st 1908 - “Two launches of fishing boats, both for the Emerald Isle, have taken place this week. On Tuesday Messrs Neakle and Watterson from their yard, Peel Mill, launched a 45 feet overall Nobby for Mr M O’Connell, of Bigness Island, Valentia. This vessel has an iron keel, weighing a ton, and has had the firm’s usual care and excellent workmanship bestowed upon it. The launch was highly successful in every respect.
The other launch was at Watson’s yard across the river.
Moving to February 20th 1909 - “On Thursday morning there was launched from the yard of Messrs Neakle and Watterson, Peel Mill, a half-decker for Mr Lawson, of Laxey - a little vessel which is reckoned by those best able to know, as one of the smartest models yet built in Peel, and one we feel sure which from her graceful lines will show herself amongst the speediest of her kin on the Island. She will be used for fishing in the winter and yachting in the summer. Her measurements are 42 feet overall, and 12 feet beam. There are 2 ½ tons of iron in her keel, and everything on board is in keeping with the reputation of the firm for reliable work.
The next mention was on April 24th 1909 - “On Wednesday morning Messrs Neakle and Watterson launched from their Peel Mill Yard, a Nobby, ordered through the Congested Districts Board for a Dingle proprietor. She is a particularly trim model, and has been built with the care and excellence for which the firm are achieving a name. The launch was accomplished with facility, the boat sliding sideways from the yard into the river with ease. As there was a high tide at the time, this very much helped matters. The measurements of the new Nobby are 31 feet keel, and 13 feet beam. Another Nobby for Ireland is rapidly approaching completion in the same firm’s yard.
While on May 29th 1909 there appeared - “A particularly excellent launch was made from Messrs Neakle and Watterson’s yard, Peel Mill, on Saturday - a 46 foot overall Nobby for Mr D Graham, of Dingle, Co Kerry, Ireland. A new vessel is an admirable specimen of the firm’s workmanship is worthy to note that this is the third of the family which have patronised the builders. Unfortunately the completion of the Nobby finishes the orders Messrs Neakle and Watterson have on their books. For the sake of providing work, it is
sincerely hoped that orders will soon flow again.

The next reference was good news which was on September 25th 1909
as follows -


Mr C F Egner is again displaying his great enterprise, and his consideration for Peel, in having ordered a second steam drifter, to be built at the yard of Messrs Neakle and Watterson, Peel Mill. This is an undoubted proof that his venture in building the “Manx Princess” has been a success, in fact her net earnings at Lerwick this year have been very encouraging, despite a rather poor season. The new drifter, we are informed by Mr Egner, is to be somewhat smaller than the last, and she is to be completed by the 1st June next year. Her first trial will be in home waters - at the herring fishing next season. She is to be fitted out for the line fishing for the winter of 1910-11, after the herring fishing will be concluded. The building of the new drifter will provide needed work for artisans, who have been experiencing a slack time of late.
On November 30th 1909 it was reported that the keel of Mr Egner’s new steam drifter had been laid that week.
Work on this vessel proceeded at a good pace and then on April
16th 1910, came the following article -


In view of the pleasing fact that Mr C F Egner’s first steam drifter, the “Manx Princess” has been such a financial success, and in the hope that these vessels may mean the restoration of Peel’s prosperity, vast interest has been displayed in the building in the yard of Messrs Neakle and Watterson, of a second drifter for Mr Egner.
This latest production of the builders was only laid down in November last, and considering the frigidity and storminess of the weather during past winter, which is a serious deterrent to outdoor work, everybody concerned should be congratulated on the speed with which the vessel had been turned out.
The launch was on Monday, and, in keeping with such and auspicious occasion, the meteorological conditions were at their best. In anticipation of the event a large assemblage of townspeople had gathered at the foot of Peel Hill and round the neighbourhood of the builders’ yard. Mr and Mrs Egner were amongst those present. An exceptionally suitable high tide prevailed, and everything favoured a successful launch. All the morning the builders’ staff had been kept busy making preparations, and just before noon the last of the wedges was knocked away, and Peel’s newest drifter slid gracefully and smoothly down the ways, taking the water in the most satisfactory manner. As the drifter commenced to move away, Mrs Egner, the wife of the owner, named her the “Manx Bride”.
The new drifter is lightly smaller than the “Manx Princess”, but is built similarly strong and efficient. The measurements are - 85 feet overall, 72 feet keel, 18 feet beam. The lines are equally elegant, and should develop a good speed. As soon as ready “Manx Bride” is to be towed to the Clyde by the “Manx Princess” there to have the engines fitted by Messrs McKee and Baxter, of Govan, who gave such satisfaction in the engine equipment of the “Manx Princess”. The coal consumption will be less. The “Manx Bride” will be lit with acetylene gas, and have the latest improvements in gearing.
It is gratifying to know that a well known and respect Peel man - Mr James Crellin, of Stanley road - is to be the master.

We sincerely trust that Mr Egner will find his new possession so highly remunerative an investment that we shall soon see a third on the stocks.
The story continued on January 21st 1911, when the following appeared - “It is very pleasing to note that at least one of the Peel industries is at present kept busy. Shipbuilding is in full swing. On Thursday there was launched from the yard of Messrs Neakle and Watterson, a Nobby for a Dingle owner. The launch was effected very successfully. The boat is a nice model of the usual design for which the firm is famous, and her dimensions are 45 feet overall. The firm are at present constructing a motor fishing boat for Arklow. Pressure of work necessitated the firm refusing the order of a steam drifter for Scotland, they being unable to guarantee delivery in time.”
Moving to April 8th 1911 it was stated - “On Saturday morning last there was launched from the yard of Messrs Neakle and Watterson, a motor Nobby for Arklow. The vessel is 55 feet overall, and 16 feet beam, and is a nicely lined boat, and up to the usual standard for which the firm is noted. She will be fitted with a Bolinder motor engine. The firm have still a number of orders.
The next report referred to the trials of this vessel and this was reported on May 13th 1911 - “Much interest has been manifested in the trials of the motor-fitted fishing boat recently launched from a Peel yard. She is built for an Arklow owner and is named the “Hidden Treasure”. The engines, which are of a new character as far as Peel is concerned. They are of the Bolinder type, 24 hp, and are reversible. She made her first trial across the bay and back, on Wednesday with between 80 and 90 people on board, and gave every satisfaction. On Thursday morning another trial was given with equally good results. The engine was supplied by Heyward Bros., of Belfast. The work of completing the vessel is being rapidly pushed on, and she will most likely be ready to proceed to her destination in a week.”
While on June 3rd 1911 the following report - “On Saturday there was launched from the yard of Messrs Neakle and Watterson, a Nobby built to the order of Mr Jeremiah O’Connor, of Dingle. The boat, which is named “Ocean Billow” is a nice model, and quite up to the usual standard for which the firm is noted. She is 46 feet overall and 13 feet beam. The vessel is now nearly completed, and will shortly sail for her destination. The firm have still in hand two orders for Ireland, one of which is for a motor boat.”
Then on July 15th 1911 - “A very successful launch was accomplished at the yard of Messrs Neakle and Watterson on Wednesday at noon. There was some uncertainty up to the last moment as to whether the launch should take place, owing to the lowness of the tide, which was however, the highest for the month. In view of the fact that it would have to be postponed for a fortnight it was decided that the launch should take place. Matters were so well arranged that very little inconvenience was caused by the lowness of the tide. The boat, which is beautifully shaped, is a Nobby, built to the order of an owner from Port-a-Vogie, near Belfast. She is 45 feet overall, with 12 ½ feet beam, and is named “Kindly Light”. She is to be ready to sail for her destination about the middle of next week.
While on September 2nd 1911 another launch had taken place at the yard the previous Saturday. It was a Nobby built for a Dingle owner. She was of a shapely design being 46 feet overall, with a beam of 13 feet, and was to be fitted with a 12-15 hp Skandia motor engine. This was the first motor fishing boat constructed by the firm for Dingle. It was expected that the fitting of the engine and the final touches would be completed by the middle of the month.
Another successful launch was reported on October 28th 1911. It took place at the yard the previous Tuesday, and was a Nobby built for a Cashircaveen (Ireland), owner. The boat was 45 feet overall, and 13 feet beam, a neat model.

The next report was on March 9th 1912 - “On Tuesday there was launched from the yard of Messrs Neakle and Watterson, a beautifully and well shaped fishing boat, built to the order of Messrs Caulifield and Rickard, of Howth, Ireland. The launch was a great success, the boat taking the water most gracefully. The vessel is 60 fee overall, and 17 feet beam, and 50 feet on the keel. She is to be fitted with a 60hp Gardiner motor engine. The firm still have several orders on hand, one being a small yacht for a Manchester owner and barge for Douglas.
Then on May 12th 1912 - “A most successful and well executed launch took place from the yard of Messrs Neakle and Watterson on Saturday morning, when a yacht built to the order of Mr Sawley Brown, of Manchester, gracefully took the water. As the vessel glided down the ways, she was christened by the breaking of a bottle of wine, the ceremony being successfully performed by Ada Kaighin, youngest daughter of Mr J Kaighin, Derby House, Station Place. The yacht is a neat and shapely craft measuring 39 feet overall and 11 feet beam. She is fitted with a 15 hp three cylinder Gardiner engine. She will make Fleetwood her headquarters.
Moving to June 15th 1912, it was revealed - “The motor fishing boat recently built for Howth, by Messrs Neakle and Watterson, is now ready for delivery. Her crew have arrived, and on Thursday the 60 hp Gardiner engine was tried by a trip to sea. A number of interested passengers were on board. The boat and the engine gave every satisfaction.
It was revealed on July 6th 1912 of the successful launching of a large barge the previous Monday. The vessel was to be utilised for the landing and embarking of passengers on the steam ferries at the Battery Pier, Douglas. The christening ceremony was performed by Miss Gladys Brown, of Douglas, the name given was the “Cushag”. The vessel was very strongly built to withstand the frequent shocks of the ferry steamers coming alongside. The barge was towed round to Douglas by the Tyrconnel on July 8th 1912.
A further launch took place on January 9th 1913, it being a fishing yacht built to the order of Messrs J and C and H Cowell, of Bridge Street, Peel. The vessel was a strong shapely craft and measures 47 feet overall, with a beam of 13 feet. The vessel was to be used for the long-line fishing.
At that time the firm had an order for a vessel for a similar purpose for Mr W Crellin, Shore Road.
Then next report of May 24th 1913 revealed two launches. The first was on the Tuesday previous when a new Nobby, which was greatly admired and built to the order of Mr G Gaskell, Patrick Street, gracefully took the water. She was named the “White Heather” a trim craft with the appearance of being a fast boat. She was 46 feet overall, with 14 feet beam. She was to be fitted with an auxiliary Kelvin motor of 15/20 hp.
The christening ceremony was performed by Miss Florrie Sherstone, of Sheffield, who was staying in Peel. When the vessel was fitted, her trials proved very satisfactory, and attained a speed of 12 mph, which would be reduced to 8 mph, with nets etc., aboard. She made her first trip to the herrings two days later.
The second launch took place on May 21st 1913, it was a neat half-decked yacht, which has been built for Mr Lea, Birmingham. This vessel was 44 feet overall, and 12 ½ feet beam. She also was fitted with an auxiliary Kelvin motor engine of 8-10 hp.
Moving to October 4th 1913 it was reported that a very successful launch had been conducted the previous Wednesday when a half-decker yacht built to the order of Mr Wm Crellin, Peel. The vessel was a beautiful model measuring 46 feet overall, with a beam of 13 feet, and was to be used for the line fishing all the year round.


At that time the firm were fitting the “Gien Mie” the half-decker belonging to Cowell Bros with a Kelvin motor.
The next report appeared on March 21st 1914 when it was revealed that a launch had taken place the previous Saturday. It was a beautiful lined boat built to the order of Messrs J and J Canapa, Douglas. The vessel was 55 feet overall, with a beam of 15 feet. She was to be fitted with twin motors and was to be used as a passenger boat between Douglas and Port Soderick.
While on May 16th 1914 it was reported that this yard had launched the previous Monday, it being a barge built to the order of the Douglas Steam Ferries Ltd. The barge was to be moored alongside the Victoria Pier, Douglas, and used for the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers.
The vessel was 60 feet overall, with a beam of 16 feet. She was constructed for the most part of oak, and cost about œ500. The christening ceremony was performed by Miss Miriam Elizabeth Clarke, grand-daughter of Mr David Clarke, Peveril Hotel, one of the directors was also present. Others present were Mr and Mrs Ewart Crellin, and Miss Clarke. During the ceremony Mr Clarke referred in eulogistic terms to the work done by the firm, they two years ago having made a barge for the company, which is in use on the Douglas Head side of the harbour.
Then on August 1st 1914 it was reported that the firm had successfully launched a Nobby rigged boat the previous Saturday. It was built to the order of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction Fisheries Branch, Ireland, for Mr Kavanagh, of Arklow. The vessel was the sister to the vessel built by the yard three or four years ago, and was named the “Lucy Mary”. The vessel was 57 feet overall with a beam of 16 feet. She was to be fitted with a 40 hp Bolinder motor.
From this period on to the end of the First World War in 1918, there is very little information available, but the yard did carry on working with a very depleted staff as most of the men were serving in the armed forces or merchant navy. Most of the work they did do was repair work.
During the war the Admiralty offered the firm work in repairing mine-sweepers, but this work they declined as they felt that they would not be able to carry out the work due to the limited number of staff available.
The period just after the war was, of course, a very difficult one, as the fishing fleet had been greatly depleted as all the young men had been serving in the forces, and on their return did not wish to go back to the fishing due to its hazards.
There was only one reference to the shipbuilders in the following year and that was on July 19th 1919 it being as follows - “While coming alongside Peel breakwater; the drifter “Berrie Braes” which was on her way to the base for demobilisation, bumped into the breakwater through engine trouble, and sprang her stem. The vessel was in charge of Skipper Hy Cannon, of Peel. The necessary repairs being carried out by Messrs Neakle and Watterson, of Peel.”
The failure to revive the fishing not only caused the concern of those involved, but also by the Government of the time, and this concern was reflected in a request by the Governor for ideas on how to bring about a revival. About the same time a prospectus was published seeking capital for a new company “The Manx Fishing Industries Limited”.
As a result of the Governor’s appeal, the Government of the Island came forward with a scheme which offered loans on very easy terms to fishermen and others to build new boats and equipment for the fishing.
Although the firm seemed to be ticking over the only reference to its activities was on
September 18th 1920, it being - “Last week there was launched from the yard of Messrs Neakle and Watterson a most serviceable motor boat suitable either for private touring or for hire, either by charter or for day trips. The vessel is 30 feet overall, with a beam of 7 feet and she is fitted with a 7-9 hp Kelvin engine. The decks are of teak. She has a forecabin saloon, a covered engine room, and a cockpit. There is also a well between the engine room and fore cabin, and there is an alleyway from the aft cockpit through the engine room to the saloon. In addition to motor power, sails can be used, the vessel being rigged for a foresail and mainsail. She is named “Lheannan Shee”.”
There is a blank patch in information concerning the firm during 1921 and 1922 and it was not until May 5th 1923, and this was as follows - “Messrs Neakle and Watterson, boatbuilders, Peel, have just completed a motor launch to the order of Mr G S Dean of Port Erin. She is a beautifully modelled boat, and is a very seaworthy vessel. She is 22 feet overall, with a beam of 6 ½ feet. She is fitted with a 6-7 hp two cylinder Kelvin engine. She has teak top strikes and combings. The boat is for private use and will be used for cruising and fishing. She is a very attractive looking boat and is up to the very high standard for which the firm is noted.”
Although there was a long period of depression during the 1920’s and 1930’s the firm continued to operate and built some very fine vessels, and some of these still survive today.
In the latter part of the firms existence most of the boats built were of the small or medium sized boats which were suitable for fishing or for pleasure, and they all had very fine lines.
The firm had moved across the river when it was vacated by Watson’s and it was here that the firm finally ended its operations.
It was a point of interest that the vessel “Gien Mie” built by this firm for Cowell Bros., of Peel, who later sold it to Mr Dixon, of Whitehaven, and then he sold it to American owners, and it was taken to Montreal, Canada in February, 1937. She was 47 feet overall, and 13 feet beam. Another of the larger fishing boats was the “Manx Shearwater”.
It is interesting to note that this firm were pioneers in the use of the canoe stern, which came popular for motor boats, and it was generally copied.
The end of the firm came as a result of the death of one of the partners, Mr William Watterson, on July 9th 1939, at the age of 70 years. He was a skilled draughtsman as well as being a builder, and his designs were, particularly in the early days of the firm revolutionary, which gave their boats that little extra speed to make them very special. Mr Neakle was also a skilled craftsman, and the result of this combination made their craft a pride to behold with their outstanding character, design, seaworthiness, and workmanship.
These two gentlemen spent a great deal of their lives together, having worked as partners for 42 years, and with the closing of this yard, it was the end of an era in shipbuilding that added greatly to the prosperity of Peel, where the boats were built that could compete with any in the world for their seaworthiness and workmanship.

(This document obtained from Ms K C Watterson)