A Brief History
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.
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.