John Barnard started building boats in 1989. At this time his son, Sean, was driving Juniors. John had always been into building model boats and made a model of a junior boat. When one of the dads from the London Motor Boat Racing Club saw the model he asked John why he didn’t try to make the real thing.
So John measured a Junior boat, went home and made drawings and a scale model. This he tried in the bath to see how it would sit on the water. Based on this he made two or three ordinary shaped Junior boats. Later on John and Sean were attending a race meeting where they saw a Senior monohull wing boat. Again John made some plans and had a go at building a Junior version. John Emmerson, one of the monohull drivers, saw the boat perform and wanted one for his son. The two Johns experimented with the steps on the bottom of the boat until they found the configuration that worked best. John went on to build around 20 Junior boats, making modifications along the way.
John’s aim was to build an affordable boat, which would keep the cost down for those wishing to come into the sport.
He also experimented with building a T850 Mono wing boat with Mark Williams.
John also had a talent for repairing boats and made repairs to all classes of boats over the years.
Sean went on to win the 2007 World Title in OSY400. The event held at the Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club.
Joshua, John's grandson, won both the 2004 and 2005 Junior National Championships in a Barnard boat.