BOAT TEST: FINESSE 64FT TRAD
Tyler Wilson has just started its own boat-fitting operation and Rocinante is its first boat – so we found out how well shell building has evolved into fit-outs
Tyler Wilson has just started its own boatfitting business and the result is a stylish and practical boat with plenty of headroom for its 6ft 5in owner
Anew name in boat fitting was launched at the Crick Show back in May, but in a pretty low key fashion – so low key, in fact, you might have missed it. At that stage, Finesse Boats didn’t have a boat to show because their first one wasn’t finished. While Finesse might be new, there are familiar names behind it. The company has grown out of Tyler Wilson, one of the biggest and best known names in the steelwork side of boat building.
Recently, the firm has been doing a small amount of fitting-out, but on a rather ad hoc basis; now that’s all been brought together under the Finesse name and the firm is being run by the next generation of the family. Louis Wilson is Jonathan Wilson’s son, while Ricky Lee is his son-in-law. They’ve also brought in expertise from outside with Ken and Julia Warriner who ran Fernwood for years before retiring, as consultants.
Now the firm’s first boat, Rocinante, is finished and they’re off to a flying start. There’s absolutely no sense that they’ve begun with something simple and straightforward; instead, this is a boat that is very much bespoke and shows off the firm’s skills in both design and manufacture.
As you might expect, this boat is built on a Tyler Wilson shell, and a very fine one at that. The first thing you notice is that it’s bright – very bright. The colour scheme of green with white coach lines and a white roof along with red panels at the stern really stands out in a crowd. The painting, which is sprayed using a yacht paint, has been done in Tyler Wilson’s huge and relatively new paint shed in Sheffield.
Take a closer look and there’s an enormous amount to enjoy about this boat. It is a sheerline Josher, so there’s a very pretty curvy bow and a lovely sweeping line along the side. The traditional look is emphasised by rivets. But look closer and there’s more to see. The gunwales are sharp rather than rolled, and protrude slightly to make it look as though they’re made of wood in the traditional way, rather than metal.
There’s a similar story with the handrails which also protrude slightly to imply they’re wooden (but they do also have a finger-grip on the inside edge). There are recessed panels at the stern, carrying Andy Russell sign-writing. The traditional look is completed with