Bespoke work away from masts and oars

With a proven pedigree in the world of wooden yacht masts and oars, our skills and knowledge have often been called upon within similar industries. As a glue-lam specialist and with the flexibility and facilities to take on a wide range of projects, diversification has become common place.

With the growing demand for traditional and sustainable materials within modern architecture, internal and external columns, both structural and cosmetic, have become regular work to satisfy this growing market. With the ability to turn almost any size of column from a variety of materials, there is little we cannot accommodate. 

The link below will highlight some of the bespoke projects we have undertaken over the years. 

The logical progression into wooden masts

Over the years Collars' spars have been used in Olympic competition, crossed all of the worlds Oceans, and can be found on nearly all wooden sparred production boats ever made. With a capacity of producing any wooden mast or spar up to 100' in length....

Oars

Having made our name in producing the finest quality wooden rowing oars for crews throughout the world, it is hardly surprising that we are still producing a comprehensive range today. At the lower end of the range are the standard wooden oars, offering quality and value for everyday use. Using the skills from three generations of the Collar family, a pair of Spruce spoon or skiff oars can be produced individually to the customer's requirements.

Flag poles

Whether looking to replace an historical flagpole, or raising a celebratory flag, our pedigree in producing the finest quality wooden masts for over 80 years makes Collars the obvious choice for making any flagpole. Using the finest quality timber available, our skilled craftsmen are able turn by hand, any size or configuration required. With our bespoke service, we will guide you throughout the complete process, from an initial consultation to erecting the finished product.

Projects

With a history dating back over 80 years, we have produced mast and spars for some of the most beautiful yachts in existence. Specialising in producing the finest quality yacht masts and spars, we pride ourselves on a personal, tailored service and maintain a close and constant contact with our customers. From the critical choice of timber to the final stages of smoothing and varnishing, a Collars product has over eighty years of experience and expertise put into it, making us the number one choice time and time again.

The following links are a small selection of the some of projects we have been proud to be part of in recent years.

Contact us

History

Specialising on producing the finest quality yacht masts, wooden oars and spars we pride ourselves on a personal, tailored service, and maintain a close and constant contact with our customers. From the critical choice of timber to the final stages of smoothing and varnishing, a Collars product has over seventy years of experience and expertise put into it, making it the number one choice time and time again.

Frank and Bill It was in one of the old Oxford University boathouses on the edge of the Thames, that Frank Collar started the business.The year was 1932 and with very few tools and no electricity supply, repairs to the college oars kept the new business busy.

With Frank being a keen rower, he could see the potential for business not only with Oxford University , but also other colleges. By the time the Second World War broke out, the Collar reputation was sufficiently well established for Frank to secure a contract with the Air Ministry, to make oars for aircraft lifeboats.

Gradually the business built up so much that F Collar Ltd supplied oars for all the Olympic Games between 1952 and 1984, making the name instantly synonymous with premium quality racing oars. Collar's wooden oars and spars have gone all over the world. Chay Blythe and John Ridgway used them for their Atlantic crossing. Countries such as New Zealand, Canada, Australia and of course Great Britain, have taken them into competition. One retailer in Maine, USA proudly advertises their stock as 'hand crafted in England'!

With many parallels between wodden rowing oars and yacht spars, namely the use of the best quality Sitka Spruce, it only a matter of time before this market found Collars. Enterprise and Wayfarer dinghies were the first in a long line of classes that relied on Collars to produce spars after the post-war boom in small dinghies and family boats. With the introduction of Carbon Fibre rowing oars in the mid '80's, the demand for wooden oars declined leaving Collars to focus their attention on yacht spars. Today this accounts for 85% of the business and with the move to larger premises in 2002, Collars capacity has increased to match the revival in the classic yacht market.


collarsUsually the initial shaping is done by machine but one craftsman does the final work with traditional hand tools, so an interested customer can actually meet the person who was responsible for the finished mast. This relationship is particularly important with one-off jobs that may require frequent consultation with the customer.

Although machines have made the job lighter and quicker for modern oar and spar makers, there is still a tremendous amount of skilled hand work involved. From the critical choice of timber to final stages of smoothing and varnishing, a Collars product has over sixty years, three generations and several working lifetimes of experience and expertise poured into it.

More on the history of Collars on WikiPedia