About Bates Wharf

Originating from W Bates & Son, Bates Wharf Marine Sales has a wealth of history.

W Bates & Son are one of the longest standing boatyards & marinas on the River Thames today, established years ago as “Taylor and Bates” building their first boats in the late 1800s.


W Bates & Son was formed in 1934. During the war with over 150 employees, air sea rescue vessels, sea plane tenders and the like were built for the MOD. Just after the war, the arrival of the famous and now classic Star Craft Boats went into production. W Bates & Son were the founding boat building company at the conception of the now London Boat Show, exhibiting a 25’, 33’ & 40’ Star Craft in the “Marine Section” of the 1948 Motor Show in Olympia.


Established by Richard Bates and David de Vere, Bates Wharf Marine Sales was begun.


1995 saw the opening of Bates Wharf Southern Ltd in Sovereign Yacht Harbour (Eastbourne) which facilitated our first expansion into the South Coast market.


In 2007, £1.7 million was invested into the largest boat showroom and chandlery on the river Thames. This complements our existing marina and workshop facilities. No longer do you have to endure the rain & cold in order to see the boat of your dreams. Adjacent to our main showroom we have a dedicated on land sales area and on water pontoon for our larger sports boats and cruisers.



August 2008, we expanded to a third showroom and yard in Poole. Based near the lifting bridge, we are in a central location to all marinas and have full facilities on site, including sales, valeting, repairs and servicing. 

Our Bates Wharf Cruising Club is run from our Poole office; contact the office for more details.


In 2015, Bates Wharf Southampton was opened to represent us and our brands across the South Coast.


Heading into the 5th generation of the Bates family, we welcomed new members of staff to keep the Bates Wharf Way navigating forwards. At our Chertsey head office, we now have a service department managed by Sophie Bates (daughter of MD Richard Bates) for all your PDI, servicing and winterisation needs.

The head office and our Southampton office have had a make over. Chertsey now has a fabulous infinity floor and Swanwick has had a complete internal renovation.

We also have become agents for Kawasaki Jet Skis in Chertsey and Poole.


We are proud and excited to announce our expansion of retail sales for Azimut Yachts from our established Swanwick Boutique on the River Hamble, Southampton to showcase Azimut stock models.

MD, Richard Bates said ‘We feel that this is the right time to concentrate on this exciting brand and to take the lead through our UK network of offices in becoming the official UK Azimut Yachts dealership, supplying yachts on a retail basis directly to our UK clients’.

This exciting new collaboration will allow both companies to offer a stunning range of boats from the Azimut range and feed the growing number of UK buyers now purchasing bigger boats for the UK and Mediterranean.

In November 2023, David de Vere took a step back from Bates Wharf to start his retirement.

“I started work in the marine industry in September 1973, working for the now defunct Westerly Marine Construction Ltd, so that totals 50 YEARS ! Here at Bates Wharf Marine Sales, Richard Bates and myself set up the company in February 1992 a total of 31 years ago. Now at the tender age of 81, I have made the decision to retire at the end of this November 2023. It is with great sadness that I am retiring, but the time has come to relax a little. Best of luck to you all. Needless to state, I have many happy memories and it was and is a pleasure working with everyone.” .

November 2023 – Words from David de Vere

2023 also saw the introduction of IRON boats and Bluefield Luxury Floating Homes to our portfolio.

2024 & BEYOND

We look forward to a streamlined, exciting year ahead with multiple boat shows, and our fabulous team (below) working together across our offices to maintain “The Bates Wharf Way“.

View all boats for sale.

We look forward to hearing from you.

We are proud to be working with some of the leading names in the boating industry and proud to be members of the British Marine Federation operating under their code of practice.