Our Story

Hartley & Brookes boat plans is the oldest business of it’s kind. Since the first plans were sold for home construction in 1938 it’s estimated that in excess of 100,000 Hartley Boats have been built.


Apart from ‘class dinghys’ there are probably more Hartley Boats throughout the world than any other design. And probably more Hartley ferro-cement boats than all other ferroboat designes added together.

The first ‘Trailer-Sailer 16’ designed by Richard Hartley circa 1960.

The Designers

Hartley boats have all been designed in house by Colin Brookes, Richard Hartley, Jock Read and John Avent. Samson boats have been designed by John Simpson, John Samson, Cecil Norris, P.Noble, T.Timmerman, W.Reid.

Canoes to Ocean Cruisers

Hartley & Brookes boat plans are distributed worldwide. Have been built from Iceland to Tasmania. Cruised the canals of Europe. Sailed the Great Lakes of America. Fished in Canada. Chartered in Croatia, and even trailered through the Great Australian Outback.


Competed in thousands of sailboat races, from club sailing in Hong Kong, Oman and England, to the ‘Cape to Rio’, ‘Auckland to Fiji’, ‘Auckland to Noumea’, and ‘Sydney Hobart’, ocean races.


Hartley & Brookes powerboats have raced the Papua New Guinea backwaters, to the offshore races of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

The Sportsman 37, popular for both leisure and sports fishing, many of these have been used extensively for commercial crayfishing, conventional fishing, and as diving launches for abalone.

Fishing and Work Boats

Hartley & Brookes boats are used for all forms of fishing and commercial work worldwide. Some as workboats straight from our plans. Many as adaptions of our tried and tested pleasure boat plans.


Our workboats have been used and accepted by many governments and official bodies, from the Singapore Harbour Authority, to the Danish Fisheries College, and the Kenya game fishing industry to the Vanuatu Republic’s fisheries.


Anglers have hooked from our small boats off the coasts of England, Malta, Holland and Norway. Fisherman have dived from our boats for Abalones off the coast of America and Crayfish off the coast of New Caledonia.


Since their introduction, our boats either professional or amateur built, have logged thousands of major achievements in skill and endurance by both craft and skipper. Many have made global circumnavigations and ocean crossings.


Some examples are Atlantic crossing in a ‘Hartley 16’. First woman solo Cape Town to England. First woman solo crossing of the Tasman Sea. Peter Freeman in his home built ‘Hartley 32′, held the monohull single handed round the world non-stop sailing record for boats under 50’ for almost 20 years.