All posts by Gavin Atkin

BBA students build 20ft Roger Dongray trailer-sailer

The 20ft Roger Dongray-designed Golant Ketch shown above was built by Boat Building Academy student Keith McIlwain on the BBA’s long course. (Photos by Liz Griffiths, Becky Joseph, Jon Pritchard and Jenny Steer.)

Daydream, the largest boat built by the BBA’s October 2013 intake, is a decked trailer sailer with lifting centreboard, outboard engine and cabin. Her hull is constructed using the ply on frame method.

From Bristol, Keith started his working life as a sailmaker and worked his way up to loft manager for a premier sail company before starting a career in sales and marketing.

He decided to join the 38-week course as a way of returning to the boating industry with a new career, and is currently setting up his own boat building, restoration and repairs business just outside of Bristol, to be called Daydream Boats.

Keith will build on his prior experience of furniture and sail-making, and will also be an agent for Jeckells Sails in the South West.

He chose to build the Golant Ketch as he wanted a boat he could sail around Bristol and the South West, and to help promote his business to potential customers.

Brenton Pyle from South Africa worked with Keith throughout the build.

Brenton moved to the UK with his family in 2005 and worked for an aircraft maintenance company. He joined the Academy to start a career in boat building, and throughout the course has particularly enjoyed developing his woodworking skills.

He is currently working with former academy instructor, Justin Adkin at his workshop based in Axminster and in the future will consider options in boat building, woodworking and furniture making.

Students Andy Jones, George Le Gallais and Steven Roberts also worked closely with Keith to build Daydream, but between them also made a 14ft paddleboard, again shown in the gallery above .

George was the first to paddle it out into the harbour on launch day.

The plans for the ply on frame Kaholo board were purchased from Chesapeake Light Craft website. It was sheathed in glass and epoxy; to paddle it the students use paddles they built as part of the course.

Andy who grew up in Lyme Regis, joined the Academy from London where he worked for Babcock Critical Services in partnership with the London and Lincolnshire fire and rescue brigades. During the course he worked on all of the boat projects, in particular Keith’s Golant Ketch, to which he became quite attached.

Joe who loves to experience different cultures and to throw himself into unfamiliar territory, spent time travelling around Europe, North and South America, Australia and India before joining the Academy. Like Andy and all 38-week course students Joe worked on all of the course boat projects and enjoyed learning modern and traditional techniques.

Joe from Devon has work lined up at the Underfall Boatyard in Bristol, and Andy is working at Sutton Oars in Teignmouth, making wooden oars for gigs, and carbon skull oars.

Baja coast sailing

Baja sailing

Sailing along California’s Baja coast. If after watching this you feel you’d done enough sailing this summer, you’re a better man than I.

This is proper RD Culler-style sailing too, which I’d guess can be summarised as sail where you can row when you must, and make sure your boat is simple and effective and rows well, so that you don’t need to lug and use a motor.

Plan well two… more rules of his are to row during the first part of your trip so that you can sail in the later part, when you’re hot and tired.

Giant squid sea monsters are real, just as the old sailors said…

poulpe-colossal

The legendary giant squid sea monster is real. Perhaps not quite as big as this picture suggests, but I wouldn’t fancy the chances of a human who got into a fight with one… They’re capable of eating two to three metre fish, apparently.

How do we know this creature exists? Biologists at New Zealand’s AUT University recently dissected a defrosted one and the whole thing is on YouTube.

For an earlier Intheboatshed.net post about giant sea monsters, click here.

Ben Wales makes further progress with veteran Dunkirk motor launch

Launch Completed Deck

Launch Completed Aft Deck

Since 2010, we’ve been following Ben Wales’ project to restore a motor launch that saw service at Dunkirk and was for many years used as a tender by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.

The latest news is that Mary now has her decks… Here’s what Ben has to say:

‘Since the Spring we have been slowly working on the new forward and aft laid decks. Each plank had to be shaped to fit to make a watertight joint when caulked. Well over 150 wood screws were used to fit the deck and covering planks on the launch.

‘The forward and aft coamings have just been fitted, and the bronze fittings for the forward deck have been completed, and two coats of varnish have been applied.

‘The next major job is making two forward seats shaped to fit the sides of the launch.

‘If the weather holds up for September, we hope to fit new floorboards and engine box. Then we can finally fit her out, and perhaps launch her in late October.’

Thanks Ben! She’s looking great and I hope we can look forward to seeing photos of her on the water in the coming weeks!

For more on this story, click here.

A harbour stroll: Porthleven

Porthleven – read about this fishing port near Helston in Cornwall here. As you may have realised, we’ve got our Internet back after a trying 51 days without a telephone service.

PS – The mediaeval wall paintings showing a sailing ship and a mermaid complete with a mirror and St Christoper walking through water are in the parish church at the nearby village of Breage. It’s well worth a look if you’re passing by.