The archive at G.L. Watson & Co. contains a diverse range of material from drawings and photographs, to press cuttings and specification documents. These have steadily amassed during the company’s long history, resulting in a unique collection which demonstrates not only the firm’s output, but the changing face of yachting from the 1870’s through to the present day.

The G.L. Watson archive is an active drawings archive with ongoing conservation and reproduction work taking place. We have taken great care to obtain the best quality conservation and digital scanning available, working with experts in the field of fine art and paper conservation.


The plans, books, diaries and press cuttings have undergone detailed and time consuming conservation and cataloguing.  Years of collected dust and grime have been removed and the collection has finally been sorted and its condition assessed. The collection is now stored in the firm’s dedicated archive. Only after sorting and cataloguing could the full extent of the  required conservation be appreciated. Three main processes were started; Plans conservation, Photographic Conservation and Archival Storage of Documents and Artefacts. Each of these required careful coordination and the work of experts in their fields.

In May 2010 the programme reached a significant milestone with the completion of the conservation of the firm’s pre World War I material and the opening of the Archive by HM King Harald V of Norway. This section of the archive includes some of the most famous yachts designed by the firm, as well as all of those penned by Watson himself.

Mission & Collections Development

Read our Mission Statement and Collections Development Strategy here: G.L. Watson & Co. Ltd Archive – Mission Statement & Collections Development Strategy