Boat Building Academy student boat launch day December 2008

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Launch day at the Boat Building Academy. As usual, click on the
thumbnails for much larger photos

Boat Building Academy principal Yvonne Green has written to tell us about her students’ big launch day down at Lyme Regis. It looks and sounds wonderfully jolly with such nice weather and such a big crowd of supporters, and it must have been quite an emotional event too.

‘The Boat Building Academy launched seven boats at noon on 10th December – more than from any previous course.

‘The fourteen students who built the boats started the 38 week course on 17th March 2008. The first twelve weeks was spent developing their woodworking skills (some started with none), painting and finishing, making oars, building clinker sections and laminating the stem sections that make up the City & Guilds assessment pieces – they take the Level 3 City & Guilds 2451 technical exams as well as learn how to build boats, and they all passed – in addition to time in the classroom on theory, deciding what boats to build and lofting them.

‘They went down onto the main workshop floor on 16th June this year and started the builds; one traditional clinker, three glued clinker, one strip plank, one stitch and glue and a cold-moulded wherry spiled to simulate carvel. Two of the boats were designed by main instructor for the March 2008 course Mike Broome, and two sets of plans came from the Mystic Seaport Museum .

‘To say we’re proud of the course’s achievement is a massive understatement. Over the last 38 weeks of the course the workshop has not been a beach-side oasis of peace and tranquillity, but the product of all that energy is superb.

‘About a hundred and fifty people walked the boats down to the harbour in brilliant sunshine. Academy director  Tim Gedge said a few words, followed by the Mayor of Lyme Regis, before the real business of the day began and the boats were launched one by one into the water. They all floated, we all cheered… ‘

For more posts relating to the Boat Building Academy, click here.

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