Alex co-founded Classic Works in 2002 with Butch Dalrymple-Smith.
Alex’s strengths as a project manager of restorations lie in his breadth of experience; he is a hands-on craftsmen in his own right, he has skippered a classic yacht for ten years and has managed a team of over a hundred people. This gives him the ability to understand the challenges of craftsmanship, to relate the work to its practical use at sea and to manage others in completing the work.
He has had a lifetime’s association with classic yachts. After learning to sail at his childhood home on the Isle of Wight, England, Alex, aged 19, found the hull of Partridge in 1979. He spent the next 18 years, on and off, restoring the yacht. For many years he carried out most of the tasks with his own hands, including casting the keel, replacing the rotten frames, laying the deck, carving the patterns for bronze castings and making the solid spars. Towards the end of the project, Alex managed a team of three craftsmen in Cowes on the Isle of Wight to complete the rig and final stages of the project.
At the beginning of Partridge's restoration, Alex undertook a shipwright’s apprenticeship with Fairey Marine in East Cowes. He obtained woodworking qualifications on a full time boatbuilding course sponsored by Fairey Marine, during which he achieved the award of ‘Apprentice of the Year’ for his works. In the mid 1980's, still sponsored by Fairey Marine, he gained a Diploma in Yacht and Boat Design from The Southampton Institute.
In 1989 Alex became involved in finding other potential restoration projects in his capacity as a consultant to the London auction house Sotheby’s when they held their first classic yacht auction in London. This particular event led directly to the ground breaking restoration of Marigold (designed by Charles Nicholson and built at Camper & Nicholson in 1892).
Alex has been the captain of Partridge since her re-launch in 1998. He now keeps an eye on Partridge throughout the year as she is berthed in the old port of La Ciotat and the team at Classic Works, when not out sailing on her, look after her.