Boatbuilder still ‘in a daze’ after royal encounter

David Moss with  Princess Anne on her visit.
David Moss with Princess Anne on her visit.

Boatbuilder David Moss is still reeling after his meeting with royalty when Princess Anne came to visit his boatyard.

David Moss (66), who this year celebrated half a century in the trade, has said he is “still in a bit of daze” after meeting the Princess Royal.

The highly skilled professional welcomed the Princess to his Skippool Creek boatyard after he sent a letter to Buckingham Palace telling officials about his 50 years as a boatbuilder.

David, from Catterall, said: “When we wrote to Buckingham Palace and asked someone to come, we never actually thought they would.

“We had a good day and she looked like she enjoyed herself.

“It is still a bit of a daze. I have to look back at the pictures and video to remind myself that it did actually happen.”

David is one of less than a handful of boat builders specialising in wooden craft left in the north of England and 
began as an apprentice in a boat building repair business at Beaumaris, Anglesey, after leaving school in Formby.

David said: “ When I went on holidays as a child I always wanted to go on rowing boats and motorboats, so I suppose I have always been interested in boats in one way or another – they are things of beauty”

Since moving to his Skippool base in 1968, David has built many boats and Princess Anne was even able to unveil his latest project.

He said: “She went in the new boat that we have building, which is a 31ft long Gaff Cutter, and unveiled its name, Polly, from behind a curtain.

“She said when she was walking back from the boat that she would like to see it again, so maybe when it is finished she will come again.

“She knows boats particularly well and she likes sailing whenever she gets the chance.

“I found out what boat she learnt to sail on when she was younger, which was a bloodhound, and I made a model of it out of wood and put a plaque on it to say it was from us.

“In the letter we were sent after the visit it said that she had enjoyed the day and treasured the gift that I gave to her.”

David employs three full-time and two part-time staff and says he “will continue to work for as long as he is fit and able”.

He added: “ It is more of a vocation than a job, it is important to be content with life and have a job that you like doing.

“Having the recognition from people like Princess Anne is very important to me and I will never forget the occasion.”