Blackwood Classics

How old is your boat?


Do you have the oldest operational Birchwood?

The boat shown is 'Kipling' a Birchwood 20 built circa 1970. This is designated as a narrowbeam boat. 

Is it the oldest Birchwood in existence? 

Please let us know the date of manufacture of your boat if it was produced before 1979. 

Please send your info to:

We look forward to hearing from you. 

More Birchwood brochures

From the 'home' of Birchwood


I recently met Pam Daws the daughter of Ted Andrews (above)  the man who started Birchwood. Pam has provided a stack of brochures and some facts on the company.

How they were built


One brochure describes and shows how the boats were built at the factories in Nottinghamshire. 

Birchwood Life


This is the company magazine published in 1990. It covers some events and boat introductions through 1989.   

Birchwood 85


No, not  a boat designation but descriptions - in English, German and French - and pics of boats from 1985. Includes: Countess 27, Commodore 31, Empress 42, Super Sports TS33 and Regent 48. 

Cut outs


A few of the brochures have excellent cut-away illustrations showing exterior and interior views.    

Full List


I am copying the brochures before I return the originals to Pam. I will post the list of what I have next month. If you want the info send email to me:  

Brochures available

If you want a copy of one or more, of the brochures listed below send an email to: with your email address and stating which you would like.  John will send the relevant file to you. (don't forget the case studies and other pdf files available on the last page.)  

Birchwood 22 leaflets x 3

Birchwood 25 leaflets x 2 

Birchwood 29 lealelts x 3 

Birchwood  31 Commodore & TS31

Birchwood 33 flybridge leaflet.  Birchwood 33 leaflets x 2. Birchwood 33 Series II leaflet.

Birchwood 35 Sportsman leaflet

Birchwood 48 leaflet

Birchwood TS49 article in Birchwood Life magazine

Birchwood TS54 brochure  and reprint of MBM Boat Report on TS54

Challenger Series (in German language) covering 320, 340, 380, 420. Tech Specs in English.

Birchwood magazine LIFE 1990 issue. Includes: TS31, TS34, TS49. 

Birchwood TS410 leaflet  

Birchwood CLASSIC showing boat construction

Birchwood leaflet for 1985 covers: Countess 27, Commodore 31, Super Sports TS33, Empress 42, Regent 48. Specs are in 

English, German and French. Layouts for these boats are included. 

Files coming soon.

For Sale


Birchwood 25

‘Wild Garlic’ the much loved Birchwood 25 of the Pridmore family is for sale. (See pic on this site.) 

This classic river and estuary cruiser has been in the family for 26 years. It has given them, and many of their friends, a good time on and around the river Great Ouse. 

For more specifications and price, go to L H Jones website. 

This Birchwood 25 has the most comfortable seats on the river. (The pic shows one of the two Captain's chairs in the cockpit.) The cockpit fascia, side panels and cushions are in matching material.

Hot and cold running water from gas heater. 

A new cooker was fitted at the last Safety Certificate check. (See Case Study)

BSC to March 2020

Shore power

A customised cover has been made to fit over the cockpit roof. (See Case Study)

Boat Length: 25ft (7.62m)

Year: 1979

Berths: 4 plus 2

Fuel Type: Petrol

Watermota Sea Tiger engine


Name Badge & Burgee News September 4th

Replacement badges

I am still looking for a supplier.

I have a contact locally who thinks he might be able to meet our needs. 

We are looking to meet up in August. (I have some personal issues to contend with so it may not be too soon!) . 

I am still also looking at a printed vinyl badge.


No further orders at August 1.

I have a supplier for a (30x20cm) triangular burgees in white knitted polyester with the 'Birchwood' logo, as shown here, printed on both sides. They will be supplied with rope and toggle.  

Price is around £15 each. (Less if large quantity is ordered.)

I do not yet have enough orders to make this project viable. Is anyone else is interested? 


News at 6 July 2019

Motor Boat Owner

The September issue has good content. Fitting a bowthruster remote control. 

The Fairline Vixen project covers carbureters and sterndive.  

Where to obtain OPMC Cobra spares.

KAD32 engine cutting out.

BMC engine in SeaMaster 27 misfiring.

Updating a Volvo trim gauge. 

For your own free copy go to:  

Facebook Birchwood Owners Group

This has many members who share a love of their Birchwood boats. There are pics of many different Birchwoods and the information covers gel coat, toilet renovations, engine removal and replacement - petrol to diesel conversion, re-upholstery and more. We are in the group and gaining some good info and pics.   

Electrics on boats

We have had a few queries about rewiring and some owners have told of their plans to rewire. 

If you put in 'Electrics on boats' on your browser you will find a lot of info including a basic 'How a typical marine 12 volt system actually works.' 

There's too much info to include here so please refer to the site. 

Birchwood Re-launch

There has been a change in the way Birchwood Marine are approaching the re-launch.  For information go to its website.  It is still the intent to have boats on at  future Boat Shows. 

Diary Dates

Classic Boat Festival, St Katherine's dock 6th-8th September 

Cannes Yachting Festival 10th-15th September 

Swanwick Used Boat Show 13th-22nd September Southampton Boat Show 13th-22nd September Devon Boat Jumble 14th September 

Solent Boat Jumble 6th September Scotland’s 

Boat Show 11th-13th October

 Suffolk Boat Jumble 20th October 


The register of Birchwood Boats is growing. Thank you to those who have provided details. Even

If you have not registered please send your name and contact details together with your boat type and name, and where you moor and cruise to: ( 

Questions & Answers


Send your query to be placed with an answer

Owner's queries are placed here with and response added as they arrive.  Latest: 23/07/2019

Also see downloadable Case Studies on the last page. 

Parapet Posts

Q: On the Birchwood facebook group, Ken Leary, who has a Birchwood 25 executive, writes that he is desperately trying to find 2 port side parapet posts if anyone has these for sale. The pic shows why he needs them! Contact him on facebook or send details to:

A: I have advised Ken that if he can't find them he could contact:  Mr Stainless, Suffolk Yacht Harbour, Levington, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP10 0LN Tel: 01473-659295  He does bespoke work. 

Watermota Sea Panther

Q: Andy Wilson has carried out a mass of refurb on his Birchwood 25. He asks if anyone has knowledge of the Watermota Sea Panther (diesel) engine. He replaced the 'blue engine' - which was a bit smokey (blueish smoke rather than black diesel) and tended to burn through its oil - with a fully refurbished Red Watermota Sea Panther complete with gearbox unit.  However, this smokes as much/or more than the old one and especially when it starts from cold.  He’s tried different grades of oil, fuel additives and had the CAV Pump and injectors fully overhauled but it's still smoky. Andy wonders if this is just a feature of old technology?  

A: Have you any experience with this? Can you advise Andy? Please send your reply to: , Andy will be advised and your response published here. 


Q: Denis Davis' change from a 1600cc Watermota engine to a 1500cc Nanni diesel engine  has left him considering that a prop with different pitch and diameter is required. This is because the petrol engine was higher revving than the diesel which only revs to 3000 rpm.   

A: Ernie Vick of Birchwood advised Denis that Birchwood has used Clements engineering for most of its  running gear and suggested he make contact with them at:

If you have a point of view on this please send it to : and I'll advise publish it here. 

Hot Water Heater

Q: Nathan and Tina King asked on the Birchwood facebook group site how to heat water without an inboard engine. They are looking at gas water heaters and would appreciate suggestions or other options. 

A: Though Wild Garlic has an inboard engine water for sink and heads - including shower unit - has been  provided through a Palomo gas water heater for 26 years. Most important is draining the water completely before winter sets in. A Case Study has been printed and can be downloaded from the files at the end of this site.

Can anyone add to this?  Please send comments to : 

Do you have a query?

 Send it to: and we'll try to provide an answer.   

Birchwood Boats and other Classic Cruisers

Other cruisers?


Whatever type of cruiser you have it is hoped that the info on this site will be useful to you.   Let us know if there is a subject you would like covered. If we don't have it, we'll do our best to obtain info and publish it here. 

For ALL Motor Boat Owners


There is a free digital magazine which covers all aspects of ownership of motor boats. It includes articles on new boats and accessories as well as projects on all types of classic cruisers. Sign up at:  

Your story


The work you have done, or had done, on your boat is of interest and use to other boaters. This site can tell them about your project. 

Please send info and pics. 

Above is cabin added to Dave Gray's Birchwood 25.

Birchwood Classics . . . August 2019


Birchwood Classics & Classic Cruisers

This website not only provides information to owners and admirers of Birchwood boats but also to owners of similar classic cruisers. Leaflets showing the Birchwood boats built over the years can be downloaded from the last page of this site.  

The site is constantly added to and updated to provide useful information, owner's images and case studies. These include renovations, updates and problem solving. At present there are no paid for advertisements on this site. The  products and companies mentioned are for boater's information and use.   


John Pridmore owned his 1979 Birchwood 25 with his family for over 26 years. It is named 'Wild Garlic' and, as you can see in the caricature on the opening page, time on it has been enjoyed by family and friends. The picture here is of Wild Garlic at a Bedford River Festival. 

John published the Birchwood Classics Newsletters in the late 90's. These were developed through the good graces of the boating media, Birchwood Marine International, Alex McMullen of MBM, and owners and boating enthusiasts who provided information and support. 

John has original source material some gained from his visit to the factory in Huthwaite, Sutton in Ashfield and subsequent meetings and discussions over the years with the different owners of the Birchwood Boat companies. Also with experienced staff at marinas, brokers and chandlers. He is in regular contact with the present owners of Birchwood.   

John was editor of GOBA News, the magazine of the Great Ouse Boating Association, when he won its first awards. He still contributes articles. He regularly contributed to MBM, and Anglia Afloat. He exchanges information  with, and recommends, the online magazine, 

Birchwood history & Marques

The Birchwood company has had a turbulent time and a variety of names. The original company was called the Birchwood Boat Co. The name came from the house where founder Ted Andrews built his first boat. (More 'history' can be downloaded from the last page of this site.) (NB Even more history is to be included on this site after John meets the daughter of Ted Andrews later this month.)

Boats that came later included:

Birchwood 22's - originally called the Interceptor Junior - approx 1,000 built 1970 to 1980.

The Birchwood Interceptor, renamed the Birchwood 25 in 1975, 1,500 built 1968 to 1980. 

Birchwood 27 Countess, 100 between 1980 and 1984.

Birchwood 29 Senator or Sedan, over 200 built between 1976 and 1983.

Birchwood 31 Commodore, nearly 100 between 1981 and 1984. 

Birchwood 33/GT33 (later called Viceroy) was originally known as the Newport 33 built by Marine & Industrial Mouldings in Newport Pagnell. It was later bought by Birchwood in 1972. 

Through the 70's Birchwood built the bare hull and superstructure of the GT33 for completion by other boatyards or individuals. At the  1973 London Boat Show they launched the Birchwood 33 Series II.

The Birchwood Sportsman 33 with aft cockpit and flybridge was introduced in 1976. The Birchwood Viceroy 33 succeeded this in 1980. Same hull but different superstructure and layout. Over 300 33's were built from 1973 to 1982.

Birchwood 35S/Sportsman 35 was introduced in 1978. This was a stretched version of the 33. The Sportsman 35 has a flying bridge.

Birchwood 37 President, 60 built between 1981 and 1984. It was superseded by the TS37. (If you have any info on this please forward it through the link below.)

Birchwood Regent 48. 20 built. One of them, 'Travel Blue' was taken to Ireland in the early 90's and was used for skippered cruises on the Shannon. Its new owners shipped it back to a moooring on the River Trent not far from its birth place!  Pics and info will be published later in the year. 

(References: Alex McMullen, Birchwood Marine International, MBM, Jones Boatyard.)

(Later models can be found on leaflets on the download page, on the site or on request to:

Useful Contacts


Useful contacts

The information exchange between Birchwood Marine International Ltd and Birchwood Classics is ongoing. For info on new Birchwood Boats and the company's future plans go to the above website. 

facebook Birchwood Owners Group

Good info placed by Birchwood owners. Join for a social interchange.


W H Jones is the largest marina on the river Great Ouse. It has moorings, fuel, chandlery, brokerage, and generations of knowledge.

The Great Ouse Boating Association represents boaters on the Great Ouse. Membership gives access to its moorings and its magazine.

Sheridan supplies parts for WaterMota Petrol Engines and J-Type Gearboxes. Also provides parts for classic boating brands.  

   "A bad day on the water is better than a good day in the office."

Case stories - also see the Downloads

Window leaks


There have been enquiries regarding ingress of water through windows. On Wild Garlic we scraped out ALL the old sealant on the front and front side windows with a Stanley blade and then replaced this - on a dry day - with new clear sealant. It took two attempts and pressure to ensure the sealant was squeezed between the window and frame.

Also see the Case Study download which details how one owner fixed various leaks on his Birchwood 33 - whilst renovating the whole boat. It also describes and shows how he fixed the damage caused by water ingress.  

Roof Cover


The final cover is now in place on Wild Garlic and looks good, as you can see above. 

If your roof leaks this cover will provide one solution. Further information is available from the supplier. Steve Johnson of Titan Canopies will be pleased to talk the details through with you and, with all the measuring and design work done, he should be able to offer you a special deal. Tel: 07463 643356


The technology used to make boat canopies is described in a leaflet you can Download. See last page.

Birchwood 29 - renovation


Garry and Rosemary Mills own a Birchwood 29 Sedan Sport which they have re-fitted to an exemplary standard producing one of the best looking boats on our waterways.

In 2013 they found an empty hull in a yard in Christchurch. The boat had been stripped bare by two marine engineers who had planned a project – which never happened! 

Garry and Rosemary's renovation project is detailed on a pdf Download on the last page. It includes what they did and where they obtained support and parts.

Cooker Replacement


When Silvia & Ewan Siret bought a Birchwood 25 they wanted to replace the cooker unit. I provided the info in the download below. If you have advice on this subject let me know.

We replaced the oven on Wild Garlic about 8 years ago as it did not pass the Safety exam. We bought a Nelson Marine Cooker, shown in the pic above.  (Further details in the Download at the end of the website.)

Engine Overheating


Wild Garlic's Sea Tiger engine was overheating.  Sea cock filter was clear, the impeller was changed and a  thermostat inserted (on advice of a marine engineer), 

My son-in-law, an ace mechanic, suggested blowing high pressure air through the cooling system to remove any cr&$$. He also removed the thermostat - there hadn't been one in the system for 26 years! It worked. 

See Download updated 7 August 2018.     

Your story or question


The above is the forward cabin of a Birchwood 33. The project of Simon of BoatShift can be downloaded, see below.   

Do you have a story that will be of interest to fellow boat owners?  Do you have a problem to which other owners may have the answer?  Can you provide updates to info on this site? 

We can include info as it arrives and, hopefully, we will all benefit from case studies and the answers to problems.   

Contact details

If you want more info or have any comment about this website please fill in this form.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You can also register your boat and your interest, send your info, pics and any queries to:

Birchwood Classics

38 Bramley Drive, Offord D'Arcy, St Neots, Cambridgeshire PE19 5SF, GB

Mobile No: +44 (0) 7734049870