Owned and managed by Simon J. Thomas, the Company is based on the River Ouse in Newhaven, East Sussex (South Coast UK). LOCHIN provide boatyard services to the area with undercover repair facilities, moorings and storage for vessels up to 45ft LOA and a lifting capability up to 14 tonnes. A dedicated brokerage service is marketed under the banner of SIMON THOMAS YACHT SALES specialising in the sale of second-hand vessels (sail and power) but with an emphasis on fast ‘offshore’ craft similar to those manufactured by LOCHIN. This service includes a range of commercial vessels and the Company regularly manages disposals for government organisations and commercial operators.
Our Newhaven Base on the River Ouse
Established and developing designs built by the Company include:
• LOCHIN 333 - 10m (33ft)
• LOCHIN 366 & 367 - 11m (36ft)
• LOCHIN 40 - 12m (40ft)
• LOCHIN 44 - 13.5m (44ft)
• ORC PILOT LAUNCH – 17.5m (57ft)
• CATAMARANS - 12-16m (40ft – 52ft)
These are mainly semi-displacement ‘keeled’ mono hull vessels except the ‘ORC’ Pilot Launch which is a planning concept having a unique approach to rough weather management. New for 2014, will be a range of catamaran designs from 13m (42ft) -16m (52ft) – a refinement of hitherto proven and successful craft in this sector.
Lochin 367 (11m) Police Patrol Launch and 12m Catamaran design
Associate boat builders GOODCHILD MARINE SERVICES LTD are based near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk (East Coast UK). With a capability for constructing individual craft up to 20m (65ft), there is ample capacity and a significant skill base. With ultra-modern facilities, cutting-edge services and unrestricted inland ‘high speed’ trial facilities, the building of LOCHIN craft has never been in better hands.
LOCHIN MARINE, originally based at Rye in East Sussex, was established in the early 1970’s by Frank Nichols, a well-known racing car entrepreneur. His near fatal experience travelling across the English Channel to France in a small craft was enough to encourage him to start a boat building enterprise particularly with his extensive knowledge of the fibreglass medium and manufacturing techniques. It determined him to find a vessel that could cope with the extreme conditions regularly experienced in the turbulent waters of the English Channel and to prioritise capability above cosmetic attraction. The name LOCHIN comes from the founder’s name and not, as many may think, through some Scottish connection.
Approaching Robert Tucker M.R.I.N.A, a well-respected naval architect and designer in the early 1970’s, Frank quickly became aware he was dealing with a man who understood the vagaries of the sea interpreting that knowledge into many well-known and proven sea-going designs. What followed was the development of the LOCHIN 33 which became the ‘corner stone’ design of the range and fundamentally the concept from which all future LOCHIN designs evolved – the characteristic shear, stability controlling keel and smooth lines are trade mark qualities that have been carried forward.
Goodchild Marine Services Ltd - manufacturing facility in Norfolk
Understanding the basic principles of weight distribution, propeller law and the harnessing of available power were pivotal to creating an efficient and functional hull design. These fundamentals were quickly identified as essential considerations and established an ethos that is rigorously followed today. The introduction of more powerful marine engines and the thinking behind the harnessing of that power effectively was to transform the industry and LOCHIN can boast a significant contribution to this construction philosophy.
In the 1980’s, the R.N.L.I. chose the Lochin 33 as the basis for the ‘Brede Class’ Lifeboat and these craft served them well for almost 20 years. Latterly the same craft were adopted by the South African equivalent of the R.N.L.I. known as the National Sea Rescue Institute (N.S.R.I.) continuing in service as fully fledged ‘offshore’ lifeboats. Such was LOCHIN’s reputation that many commercial derivatives were built for pilot’s, police patrol craft and passenger carriers as well as many charter and leisure vessels. With the introduction of the LOCHIN 38 in the 1980’s, the range was further extended and firmly established LOCHIN in the commercial sector. Indeed, such was its success that the Bahama’s Air Sea Rescue Agency (B.A.S.R.A). and other rescue organisations ordered bespoke life boats all of which are still in service today.
Since acquiring the Company in the 1990’s, Simon Thomas, together with nominated Naval Architects, Amgram Ltd, have developed and refined all the designs to broaden their appeal and embrace modern design philosophy. This included the introduction of the LOCHIN 40 as a development of the LOCHIN 38. The introduction of the LOCHIN 333 in 1996 and LOCHIN 366 in 2000 was an ideal opportunity to introduce a modern approach to construction techniques with four designs coming from one set of mould tooling. The development of ‘flexible’ tooling techniques are, we think, unique to the industry and has enabled LOCHIN to bespoke build without exaggerated cost. The Company has however, never lost sight of the core values – uncompromising quality of construction, sympathetic hull lines and above all a sea kindly nature. These have always been and will continue to be mainstay priorities.
Like all companies, they go through difficult times but LOCHIN has managed to weather the storms of recession and continues to do what they do best – build sea-going boats for the long term in the knowledge that more than 500 examples worldwide have been built and continue to do their job.
• Design team involvement in every construction
• Utilise what is proven but innovate with prudence
• Never compromise safety for profit
• Maintain or improve standards for the benefit of the product and its customers
• Listen to our customers for they are the arbiter and future of our business.
We have a saying ‘if you want to know how good our boats are, ask an owner – on his answer our reputation depends’
Lochin 33 Motor Cruiser
The future of LOCHIN has always depended on our past reputation and a constant striving to develop from core strengths and values. The introduction of the catamaran with the deck space advantages they have, has determined us to carry our considerable knowledge and expertise into this segment of the market. This will no doubt take LOCHIN into new areas of understanding and the challenges that may pose.
We continue into our fifth decade with the same enthusiasm and commitment our history has hitherto demonstrated and perpetuate the name that is synonymous with truly sea going craft.
15m Catamaran for Sea Fisheries Patrol