Blackwood Classics

Name Badge News May

Replacement badges

The moulded badge maker has let us down. I am back to reviewing quotes and will visit potential suppliers. Including one who can print on self adhesive vinyl. 

I'll keep you informed. 


I have a supplier for the (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 have some orders, please let me know if you are interested. 


News at 14 May 2019

Motor Boat Owner

The May issue has a lot of good content as usual. Of interest to Birchwood boat owners is the Q&A on anodes; Sonic 100 sterndrive spares; fuel consumption with twin AQ131 120hp petrol engines; sterndrive trim sender fault; and prop selection.   

For your own 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.   

Case Study - adding cabin space

Dave Gray added a cabin on the aft section of his Birchwood 25. What he did is now available as a pdf file on the download section on this site. Many thanks to Dave for the information and pictures he provided. 

FOR SALE Dave and friends are now working on a wooden sea going boat so his 25 is for sale. See the pdf and the Apollo Duck website for more details. 

Buy a share in Birchwood

Register your interest in Birchwood boats at You can see managing director Ernie Vick, in the Birchwood video presentation at:

John Pridmore also has a guest appearance!

Diary Dates MAY

Solent Boat Jumble 12 May

South Coast Boat Show 17 – 19 May

Brundall Boat Show 18 May  

Crick Boat Show 25 – 27 May

All Wales Boat Show  30 May – 1 June

Northern Boat Show 31 May – 2 June

Poole Harbour Boat Show 7 – 9 June


The register of Birchwood Boats is growing. Thank you to those who have provided details. Eventually we will include a Forum on this site. (In the meantime see the Q&A section below.) 

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


Put your query here

Owner's queries are placed here with and response added as they arrive.  Latest: 12/05/2019

(The picture of the Sea Tiger engine is relevant to the engine problem below. It had a similar problem and the Answer is in the text and in a Case Study that can be downloaded from the last page of this website.)

Engine removal

Q: We have been asked how to remove an engine from a boat.

A: A guide to removing and replacing an engine has been produced as a case study. It also give pointers on how to select an engine. It can be downloaded as a pdf file.

If you can contribute to this case study let me know at: 

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: John Folley has a Birchwood 25 and commented that he thought he might need to change his prop as he had cavitation problems and there was reduced propulsion through the water. .

John has subsequently advised that he has cleaned up his prop and hopes this has resolved the problem.     

A: It may not be a cavitation problem. 'Wild Garlic' had a similar problem some years ago and Jones Boatyard made adjustments in the gear box - for about £30-£40 - and it solved the problem. According to the manual available from Sheridan Marine, it is a job that can be done by an owner but the adjustment is made inside the gear box and if the adjusting nut is dropped it is difficult to find and refit. 

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

Mercedes OM636 engine

Q: Walter A Reed has a Birchwood 29 Sedan on the River Shannon. It was built in 1999 and is fitted with a Mercedes OM636 engine. He has a problem with overheating. After clearing out all the pipes and fitting a new impeller he has been unable to sort out this problem. 

A: Although a different engine, the high pressure air put through my Sea Tiger's engine ports seemed to have done the trick. It blasted out, progressively, the 'crap' collected over 26 years!  Download the Case Study for more information.  

Do you have a query?

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

May 2019


Birchwood Life

Michael Bean has provided anectdotes of his time with Birchwood and also a selection of pictures and printed matter. 

These include the picture shown here of the factory with a range of boats in production,  brochures on the 460 Flybridge, the 510 Sportsbridge and the Continental.  

Copies of the brochures and Birchwood Life Vol 2 No1 from Jan 1982, are available as pdf files on request to: 

Mick had worked at the Birchwood factory in Huthwaite for over 30 years. He worked on most of the Birchwood range. Thanks to him for his ongoing input. If anyone has information or knowledge (or updates or amendments) they would like to share please contact me and I will be pleased to record it in the Birchwood history file. 


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 . . . May 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 has owned his 1979 Birchwood 25 with his family for over 26 years. His boat is named 'Wild Garlic' and, as you can see in the caricature on the opening page, time on it is 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.) 

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.) 

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

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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