our team

Ratsey and Lapthorn have been making Sails for over 225 years. We are experts the experts in sailmaking and our team consists of keen racers and medal winners on both classic and modern yachts.

Jim Hartley – CEO

Since joining Ratsey and Lapthorn in 2016 Jim has been at the helm of the business and has encouraged Ratsey to win numerous projects around the world in all types of sailing. Jim confesses to have been following Ratsey and Lapthorn over the years and jumped at the chance to be fully involved. Growing up on both the East and South coasts of England, the sea has always been close to Jim’s heart. A keen sailor generally cruising with his young family these days but always keen to race whether down in Spain or up in the UK.

Lisa Board – Loft Manager

Lisa brings with her a real passion for the Ratsey and Lapthorn brand. She is a life long sailor and previously an RYA Sailing Instructor, she has many thousands of sea miles logged, including a Trans Atlantic with her Husband and two children, then aged 1 and 2. She brings with her to the loft an enthusiasm for finding projects, talking to customers and ensuring all their needs are met.

Matthew Robinson – Sailmaker

Matt served his apprenticeship in the traditional way and was schooled by the best in Gary Pragnall. An experienced sailor in a range of vessels and an instructor for the Sea Scouts and UKSA. As well as regular sailmaking, Matt is one of a very few sailmakers that specialise in the traditional hand finishing skills that increasingly seem to be lost.

Andy Cassell – Classic Sail Designer

Still a competitive sailor, Andy won Gold representing Great Britain in the Atlanta Paralympics. He still knows how to “make a boat go fast” and his depth of knowledge and experience in sail making and design are still much sought after. Not many sail lofts can boast a designer with a gold medal and Andy still has a passion for making the very best sails. Andy was has won an embarrassment of silverware over the years and has been a stalwart of several sailing classes, one notably the Darings in Cowes.

Gonzalo Romagosa Sail Designer and heads up the Barcelona Loft

Sailmaking has always been a part of Gonzalo’s life, with his father teaching him many of his skills growing up in Spain. He worked for North Sails for many years both in the Uk and mainland Spain. In 2009 he went to Alinghi to be a part of their America’s cup 2009 team. He has since worked in the world of Super Yachts and for other Sailmakers around Europe. Gonzalo has been bought into Ratsey and Lapthorn to push forwards with new technology and state of the art sailmaking. He also fronts the service loft located in Marina Vela, Barcelona where he is a regular on the Mediterranean racing circuit.

Rowena Olden Sailmaker

Ro is a multi-skilled sailmaker often involved in the design and build of patterns and products Ratsey and Lapthorn complete for our military and aerospace customers. An absolute perfectionist, Ro is just as happy building sails as she is developing new products for these other demanding industries. Also a keen competitive sailor so has a perceptive understanding of what our customers require

Gary Pragnel Sailmaker

Gary represents the best in sail making finishing in the country, his finishing skills are second to none across the world and he has become an adept teacher to others. An apprentice in the Ratsey and Lapthorn loft himself, Gary represents a connection with the way Sailmaking has been taught throughout the centuries of Ratsey and Lapthorn history.

Mark Matthews Sailmaker

Mark has over 30 year’s experience and has worked in many of the top south coast sail lofts, and teaches the sailmaking courses at the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis. Mark started sailing yachts and dinghies at a young age and when not sailmaking can be found sailing his Westerly Konsort.

Sam Lee Apprentice Sailmaker

Sam joined the team in 2021 as an apprentice and is learning the art under the expert guidance of Matt. Unlike other lofts, Sam is being taught all aspects of sailmaking from lofting, stocking, seaming, finishing, design etc. Sam already had a passion for leather craft and it is fair to say his progression has been rapid.


SINCE 1790




SINCE 1790