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SONNY LEVI – Work of a Master
Charles Lawrence
with a foreword by Ray Bulman
Of all the people responsible for the glorious activity of powerboating in the past fifty-five years, whether as designer, racer or constructor, no other individual could claim a greater contribution than Sonny Levi, who excelled at all three activities. His most iconic designs were the offshore powerboats ‘A Speranziella and Surfury and the record breaking Virgin Atlantic Challenger II.  Sadly he died last year, aged ninety, and shortly after having been honoured with a Doctorate from the University of Genoa, celebrating his career of over sixty years.  This book traces various threads of Sonny’s prolific work as a naval architect and is illustrated by historic and new photographs with over 50 new drawings by the author.

ISBN 978-0-9956451-0-3 2017, hardback, 96pp, 295x295mm, with over 230 illustrations, £48

C-T 61-78 cover
Charles Lawrence and Graham Stevens.
This book tabulates the first eighteen years of the Cowes-Torquay races which were sponsored by the Daily Express.  Results collated by Graham Stevens with brief details of competitors and results, and race comments.  Illustrated by course maps, a thumbnail photograph of almost all boats entered and a profile drawing by Charles Lawrence of each of the winning boats.  It includes an index of boat names, years raced and race numbers.

ISBN 978-0-9927773-9-5  2016, softback, 160pp, 210x210mm, £20

61-78  b 36x51 print

The profile drawings of the eighteen boats are also available as a poster size 36x51cm high, rolled, £25

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HURRY WEST : COWES-TORQUAY RACE 1961  The first Daily Express International Offshore Powerboat Race.  With a foreword by Tommy Sopwith.
Discovery of an unpublished typescript by Peter Twiss describing the first Cowes-Torquay race in 1961 prompted Charles Lawrence to find out more, and he has published a full account of the race.  This explains the significance of the race where there were only nine finishers from the 27 boats that started, and four of these had deep-V hulls designed by Ray Hunt and another by Sonny Levi. The winner was Thunderbolt, a Bruce Campbell Christina driven by Tommy Sopwith, followed by Jim Wynne in Yo-Yo, a Bertram 25. Charles Currey’s Fairey Diesel Huntsman was third, although the Billy Butlin Huntsman 8 driven by Peter Twiss was holed and beached.  The book reproduces the official documents and background to the race, with details of the key people and participating boats, with new colour drawings of 29 of them.

ISBN 978-0-9927773-4-0  2015 Softback, 120 pages, 210x210mm, £20.00

Proboat April-May 2017 p16
From Professional Boatbuilder April-May 2017

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TREMLETT : A man and his Boats is a biography of Chris Tremlett 1936 – 2008, boat designer, prolific boatbuilder, racer and innovator.  He devised an economical moulding method and produced hundreds of outboard powered shells famed for their performance in Class III racing.  He evolved these into larger Class I and Class II raceboats, the popular Tremlett 21 sports boats in both timber and glass fibre, together with large pleasure cruisers, also adapted as patrol and commercial boats.  Each larger hull was logically evolved from a smaller one.  Chris carried on inventing until a few days before he was overcome by cancer.

ISBN 978-0-9927773-7-1  2016 Softback, 48 pages, 210x210mm, £15.00

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FAIREY MARINE : Boats, Raceboats, Rivals and Revivals
This definitive history of Fairey Marine is the result of seven years research and includes Fairey Marine’s historical background and the people involved with the boats; the Hamble Point site; the sailing dinghies and cruisers: the 1957 initiatives leading to the development of the Cinderella runabout, and Ray Hunt’s hull into the Fairey/Campbell and Christina 23.

The Fairey powerboats described include the Huntress 23; the Huntsman 28; the Huntress 26 and Dell Quay Ranger, the Fairey Swordsman 33, Super Swordsman and larger variants; Alan Burnard’s Sea Fox; the Huntsman 31and the Amira, with illustrated catalogues of all the known raceboats of each type. This is followed by the change to glass fibre, the Spearfish, Spear, and Fantôme, again with the known raceboats, plus the military boats followed by the decline of both Fairey Marine and the Fairey Group.

The next section describes eighteen types of boats that were rivals to the Faireys, followed by the various attempts to revive the original spirit of the Faireys.
Appendices include a chronological bar chart; author’s postscript; a note on Fairey’s diesels; production totals and outline build lists.

ISBN 978-0-9927773-2-6   Hardback, 2014, 164 pp, size 295 x 295mm, with over 530 illustrations including 75 boat plans and profiles drawn by the author.  £55.00

“Charles Lawrence has encyclopedic and unprecedented knowledge in this field and we should feel grateful to him for bringing this wonderful publication on such a fantastic subject to the wider public’s attention.”   – Lady Violet Aitken April 2014

With Fairey Marine : Boats, Race Boats, Rivals and Revivals Charles has produced the definitive history of Fairey Marine and its power boats. This book is 164 pages of Fairey indulgence. The wonderful graphics are there in abundance along with photographs, old and modern, supporting the text which is a combination of commentary backed by historical and factual information. The research Charles has put into this book leaves no stone unturned. What people outside the Fairey enthusiasts will appreciate is the all-encompassing way Charles has put motor boating of the era in context of the Fairey boats, hence reference in the title not only to race boats but also boats that rivalled the Fairey production and even later opportunities to revive the designs.

This is a fabulous book, produced with immense care and attention to detail, not only in content but also production; it is a coffee table book that you will dive into more than any other.
– Paul Patenall, Fairey Owners’ Club

FAIREY MARINE – Racing Dinghies and Utility Boats is a facsimile copy of Fairey’s 1958 brochure, with introduction and comment. 1958 was Fairey Marine’s most successful year for dinghy and sailing cruiser production, which gave them the financial strength to launch their beautiful range of offshore powerboats.

ISBN 978-0-9927773-1-9   2014   24pp 210x210mm paperback   £9.00

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BRUCE CAMPBELL – from Albatross to Christina traces the contribution of one man to three great mid- 20th Century British motorboat marques.  These motorboat companies were Albatross Marine, famous for the pretty aluminium runabouts, that Bruce promoted and for which he achieved remarkable sales; Fairey Marine, already established as mass producers of sailing dinghies, where Bruce was instrumental in getting them to develop and build the offshore powerboats, in very amicable competition with his own Bruce Campbell Christina Ltd, which he ran with mixed results.

ISBN 978-0-9927773-0-2   2013 52pp 210x210mm paperback £15.00

FAIREY MOTORBOATS: the 1957 file is a commentary on Fairey Marine’s recently discovered original motor boat documents. In 1969 Peter Twiss had been lent a file which was not returned, but it contained the correspondence starting in 1957 between Fairey Marine’s directors and Ray Hunt, Bruce Campbell, George O’Day and Sir Max Aitken describing the events leading up to Fairey’s initial powerboats.

2012   24pp 210x210mm paperback   £6.00

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PACEMAKERS from Port Hamble describes each of the David Simmonds designed Port Hamble production motorboats. At least 200 Pacemaker boats were built between 1955 and 1965 by Port Hamble Ltd, located in the riverside village of Hamble, one of the yachting capitals of Europe. This booklet assembles some brief notes and illustrates the Pacemaker boats, which ranged from 19 to 29 feet, the Port Hamble company plus David Simmonds and Denys Sessions, the people who created them.  It also includes the origins of the elegant but enigmatic Hunt 34 which was 8th in the first Cowes-Torquay race in 1961.

ISBN 978-0-9927773-6-4   Third revised edition 2015   28pp 210x210mm paperback   £10.00

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C W BURNARD : a remarkable and intriguing career collects papers, photos and drawings which originated with Alan Burnard’s naval architect father, found when cataloguing Alan’s drawings.  Born in 1894 ‘Bunny’ Burnard was an apprentice at Camper & Nicholson in Gosport, founded the Walton Yacht and Launch company on the Thames, practiced as a naval architect at Itchenor, set up and ran the Fleetlands yard to build minesweepers during WWII and until 1948 when he moved to the Varuna yard in Bombay. He spent his final years employed at naval architects Burness Corlett in Basingstoke.

Revised format  ISBN 978-0-9927773-8-8  2016 softback 24pp 210x210mm £6.00

“Charming : I remember him from from my time in India” – Sonny Levi, in conversation 2014


A range of measured boat drawings used as illustrations in the books are available and commissions for individual boats are also welcome.


Charles also distributes copies of Fairey Marine’s original drawings on behalf of the Fairey Owners’ Club and the Classic Boat Museum, East Cowes.

See more …

All enquiries and orders by email please to

or by post to 11 Bishops Close  Chiswick  London W4 4JA