The Web Site of the 1928 Gaff Cutter Yacht Emanuel

Taking Emanuel into the 21st Century.




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Andrew Anderson was born in the early 1880s in the village of Kating in south west Denmark - as it then was.  He was Christened Andreas Jacob Knutz Andressen.  When he was only 4 or 5 years old, the Franco Prussian wars ceded that part of Denmark to the North German Confederation, thus making the very young Andrew a German national.  He always, however, vigorously claimed Danish nationality.

Andrew went to sea as a ships carpenter in square rig.  One of his voyages was aboard the Lagos bound from Hamburg to Laguira and back via Glasgow.  How he came to be in Penarth is not known, but we can suppose that he found himself there - or nearby Cardiff - aboard a square rigger for a coal cargo to somewhere around the world.  

Doubtless he found a liking for the place for in 1900 he appears to have been employed as the Yard Foreman for the young Harold Clayton who at age 21 - already an accomplished yacht designer - had started his own boat building business next door to the Penarth Lifeboat Shed on Dock Beach.


EMANUEL was designed by Andrew Anderson and built by Andrew Anderson and Son in their old lifeboat shed on Dock Beach, Penarth near Cardiff in South Wales - part of the United Kingdom.  Essentially just the two of them, with casual help from around the coal docks at Penarth, they worked long hours and built many notable craft that survive around the world to this day.  That area is now obliterated by the new Cardiff Bay Barrage where it meets the Penarth side of Cardiff Bay at this point.  

Emanuel’s  design actually dates from 1922 but for a slightly smaller, 28 foot, vessel built at that time for Cardiff Pilot ‘Watty’ Watkins.  Emanuel is 30 feet.  That vessel was named Elsoril, later to become Halloween when under the ownership of Charles (Stormy) Davies, Yacht Broker.  She survived until the early 1950s when she was lost due to poor ship husbandry, having been converted for fishing and not properly cared for in the exposed west Wales harbour of Newlyn.  Emanuel is the sole survivor of this progressive design which features a full width coach roof, a feature copied by several subsequent designers.

Andrew Anderson family portrait of around 1907.  Photo by C. Godfrey, City Arcade, Cardiff.  

Photo  kindly provided by

Noreen Anderson.

Launching Torfrida of Reina out of the old lifeboat shed in June 1939.  This was the last boat to be built by Andrew Anderson and Son.  

Photo by Jack Neale.

At some point around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries Andrew met and married Magdalena Dippy.  A supposed local girl she came originally from the island of Heligoland, at one time also Danish territory.  They had three children, two girls and a boy (Johann [Johnny]) who was to become the ‘Son’ in Andrew Anderson and Son.

Andrew Anderson and Son went out of business in 1939 upon completion of their last boat Torfreida of Reine, but old Andrew would have been about 76 years old by then.  A year or so later, in an air raid, a bomb fell on the cliff above - the debris from which badly damaged the old Lifeboat Shed to conclusively bring an end to boat building on Dock Beach.

As already stated it is here that the new Cardiff Bay Barrage comes ashore at Penarth, completely obliterating the last traces of ‘boat building on the beach’.

    Andrew Anderson (on the right) talks to Jack Mears at the launch of Armorel,  in 1935.

Photo by Jack Neale.

Out in the Forest of Dean looking for

mast and other timbers.  

Date not known but probably

the mid to late 1930s

judging by the car.  

Left to Right Protheroe (Howard Neale’s Chauffeur and handy man), Howard Neale,

Andrew Anderson - over 70 years old

- and Johnny (Johann) Anderson.

Photo by Jack Neale.

Andrew appears to have parted company from Harold Clayton around 1904 to start up his own boat building business in another shed along the beach.  Harold continued to build boats, including the Pilot Cutter ‘Faith and many other notable craft until around 1913 when, following the death of his father, Sir Fitzroy Clayton, he inherited his fathers Baronetcy.  It was in this Lifeboat Shed 28 years later, and long after the Lifeboat had moved along the coast to Barry - and Andrew was left as the sole boat builder on Dock Beach - that Emanuel was built.

Emanuel’s designer and builder, Andrew Anderson and Son

of Dock Beach, Penarth, South Wales.