As far as he can remember Mr. Joseph Delceppo, founder of Kalkara Boatyard, has always loved building boats and at age 15 he joined the merchant nave as a deck boy after he had been plying in Grand Harbour ferrying sailors with his father’s ‘Dghajsa’ when the father could not make it. As deck boy in the merchant navy Joseph, during his free time, used to build models of boats starting at a modest 12 inch model to 15 foot models depending on the availability of space and facilities. His talent for carpentry was recognized and at age 24 he was promoted to ship’s carpenter. It was at age 28 when Joseph took a decision that would change his life as he decided to ‘go it alone’. He set up his own boat building yard in a shed in Kalkara where for want of a name he put up a sign stating Kalkara Boat Yard.
Joseph specialized in traditional boat building and within the first two years he had built 64 boats for the local market. They included the local fishing boats better known as Luzzu, Regatta boats, small passenger boats, the ‘kajjik’ – a rowing boat of Turkish origin and other sea craft ranging from 10ft to 34 ft in length. The Boatyard continued to flourish and by 1960’s Kalkara Boatard became a reputable firm which could offer joinery, carpentry and conversion works to high specifications and, as Malta’s popularity as a Yachting Centre grew, could also undertake extensive refit jobs on yachts of various sizes. I the meantime Joseph’s children were growing up and their life styles started to blend with their father’s. By 1986 the services offered by Kalkara Boatyard were so much in demand that Joseph, together with his sons Rino, Manuel, George and Charlot moved to a much larger site across the creek from the old yard. Success is always the result of talent combined with hard work. It is this combination that resulted in Mr. Joseph Delceppo’s successful enterprise – Kalkara Boatyard-Boat Building is an art. Joseph developed his special talent and his four sons who have inherited his enthusiasm, and later on his daughter joining as well, continued to develop the family’s talents. The impressive ultra modern establishment that today is Kakara Boatyard is a monument to the Delceppo family. It offers professional services backed by many years of experience, technical knowhow and above all their combined love of the Craft.