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.