But a comeback is hoped for

Parker Liftkeel Yachts, the Lincolnshire-based shoal draught specialists have gone into voluntary liquidation. Proprietor Bill Parker,73, simply ran out of orders because of the recession.

He told Yachting Monthly that in over 50 years of yacht building he had never before had an empty order book. His son Bruce is to continue building Squibs at their Kirton, Lincs, factory with his company – Parker Sailboats – and it is hoped that when trading conditions improve he will venture forth again building lift keel yachts.

‘It’s sad,’ Mr Parker said, ‘I was an apprentice to my grandfather who originally started building boats in 1888. And my great grandfather built Boston smacks which gained a good name in sea-worthiness – not surprising as The Wash is not a place to mess with.’

Mr Parker is in negotiations to sell the moulds for his famed line of craft.

The first lift keel boat built by Parkers was the Super Seal 26 of which 34 were built before it became the Parker 27 following design modifications by Mr Parker who had acquired the building rights in 1981. Other boats in the range include the Parker 235, 285, 335 and the Squib and Sandhopper dayboats.