Build Your Own Jolly Boat


A Jolly Boat in construction.

A great project for groups of
enthusiasts of all ages.

Jolly Boat kits have been successfully completed by two youth groups since its inception. It is very suitable for a group of young and possibly disadvantaged people to row. In particular, self esteem and pride of ownership is enhanced by building one for themselves.

Under competent supervision, and with monitoring and advice by a professional boatbuilder from The Great River Race, woodworking, needlework and boat building skills are acquired.

The group then go on to learn how to row, and possibly, sail their craft, with training, arranged by The Great River Race if required. The GRR believes pride of ownership leads to the desire to care and maintain the boat in good condition.

This can lead to participation in the numerous regattas, pageants and other events organised on the Thames and give an invaluable insight into the history and traditions of the River Thames.


A Jolly Boat in construction.

The Jolly Boat can take a crew of
4 rowers, a cox & a passenger.

The Great River Race was started to provide a combined competitive outlet for the many traditional fixed-seat rowing enthusiasts around the country – and now the world. Rowed over a 21 mile course from the Isle of Dogs to Ham (near Richmond), it has become the rowing equivalent of the London Marathon, with over 300 craft and 2000 participants (from ten years old upwards) taking part in more than thirty types of traditional boats on a handicapped start.


A Jolly Boat in construction.

The Jolly Boat can be fitted
with a mast and sail.

The Great River Race Jolly Boat is twenty five foot long with a beam of four feet six inches. It was designed by Mark Edwards of Richmond Bridge Boathouses, based on a ship’s boat of the late 1700s. There is seating for four rowers or scullers, a coxswain and a passenger. Light yet safe, the fine lines and ease of operation make it particularly satisfying for youngsters. It can be fitted with a mast and sail giving an ability for basic sailing.


The kit version will have a low maintenance grp hull (in customer’s colour choice). It will have the thwart stringer and five thwarts already fitted. The remaining timber for completing the boat will be cut, planed and, where appropriate, moulded. This, with other materials, will be packaged in the hull. Written instructions will be provided, together with three days (in the London area, or by arrangement outside) professional advice on progressing the work of completing the boat. Advice may also be sought by telephone.


A Jolly Boat in construction.

Jolly good fun.

For the building a covered space of a minimum of 35 feet by 15 feet will be needed. If this is not practicable for the chosen group, a local watersports centre may be willing to host the construction and subsequently give the boat a permanent home. A purpose built trailer is ideal for getting the boat to and from the water; otherwise a flat bed truck with a lift or crane is a reasonable alternative. The final stages of moving the boat in and out of the water can sometimes be that much simpler using a boat truck, a small inexpensive piece of equipment.


Pricing to be determined according to specification. VAT will also be payable at the standard rate. A purpose built trailer can be bought for around 800.

For more details, contact or call the office on 0208 398 8141