The REEF Project

Simon Faithfull, Portland

Simon Faithfulls project posed a unique and exciting challenge for the studio. We were approached by the artist to transform a concrete sailing yacht into a fishing boat, which would then be sunk off the coast of Dorset in order to create a permanent underwater installation.


Weber Industries worked with Simon to develop a viable fabrication model that would meet stringent environmental regulations, while remaining true to the artists intentions. Since the finished boat had to be constructed entirely from concrete forthis reason, we worked initially from our studio to fabricate shuttering that would allow us to cast a concrete wheelhouse; an addition that transformed the plain hull of the reclaimed Brioney Victoria into the type of fishing vessel originally envisaged by the artist.

The Brioney Victoria at dock

The Brioney Victoria at dock

The project then moved on-site to Weymouth, where a team spent a month casting and finishing the ship in coloured concrete. Careful calculation ensured that the adapted Brioney Victoria remained sea worthy for her final voyage before the ship was successfully sunk offshore. Stainless steel camera mounts fabricated in the studio were installed to enable underwater cameras to document the transformation of the ship into an artificial reef. 


“REEF is perhaps my most ambitious and complex project to date. The work required building an entirely concrete wheelhouse and fittings onto the hulk of an existing concrete ship. The project required collaboration with a creative, passionate fabricator who could brainstorm imaginative solutions and was able to deliver these within in a tightly controlled budget and exacting (but unpredictable) schedule. The team from Weber Industries were able to fulfil this role impeccably and to remain positive, friendly and helpful in extremely difficult circumstances. Gavin's background as a sculptor combined with his grasp of construction and engineering made him the perfect partner for this project.”

Simon Faithfull