It started with the Lidgards and is carried on by us today
Robertson Boats Ltd is a fourth generation boat building company who's foundations date back to 1932.
In 1932 Lidgard Bros was founded by brothers Roy, Fred and Mike and was set up in Hamer Street on the Western Reclamation in Saint Mary's Bay, Auckland. They specialised in custom boat building of all types, from mullet boats to classic launches and commercial fishing boats. During World War II they amalgamated with other boat builders in the area to build the 112ft Fairmile - a naval escort vessel.
After the war Roy's son Jim, Fred's son John and Betsie Lingard's son Chris Robertson were all apprentices at Lidgard Bros. Betsie was the sister of Roy, Fred and Mike Lidgard. Another well known boat builder and designer Jim Young was also an apprentice at Lidgard Bros at the time.
Chris finished his time at Lidgard Bros and went to work for Col Wild for a few years before going on to work with Jim Young and Bryn Wilson.
In 1960 Chris started his own business - Chris Robertson Boats, and set up in a factory on Target Road in Glenfield. From here he designed the majority of boats he built and designed many custom boats for other boat builders around the country. Chris was a well respected competitive sailor. He built and skippered the boat that represented New Zealand in the Admirals Cup in Hawaii where they won. He won line honors in the Sydney Hobart yacht race. He built and raced Jenny H which was the only New Zealand entry that finished the Sydney Hobart one year and won the Southern Cross and skippered other Sydney Hobart entries. He designed and build many well performing yachts and launches over his time with one launch called Delray winning boat if the year. Chris is a life member of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
Chris's sons Conrad and Martin served their time with Bryn Wilson at Bryn Wilson Boats and joined their father towards the end of his time at Target Road.
In 1981 the business changed its name to Chris Robertson and Sons and they purchased the property the business currently occupies on the banks of the Mahurangi River in Warkworth. Not long after that Chris retired and The business became Robertson Brothers with Conrad and Martin taking over the operation of it.
Through out the late 1970's and 1980's Conrad spent many years successfully representing New Zealand at rowing winning multiple World Championship medals and in 1984 won a Gold Medal at the Los Angeles Olympics while also doing his apprentice ship and assisting with running the business.
In 1995 Conrad acquired Martins share in the business and changed the name to Robertson Boats Ltd. From 1995 to present day Conrad has been at the helm of Robertson Boats continuing the family legacy of building the finest custom boats some of which he designed. In 2000 he decided the business needed to diversify to offer a repairs and maintenance service so designed and built a travel lift and developed a hardstand area.
Conrad's son Drew (the fourth generation) did his apprenticeship and works for the company.
Over 89 years the family has designed and built many custom boats - some award winning. We have worked with many well known designers nationally and internationally materialising their visions and have built boats for clients from all over the world. We are proud of our history and hope to make your next vessel part of it.