Category Archives: Modern boatbuilding

Modern and plywood boatbuilding and plans

Down the Wild Owyhee, with Prince Helfrich

This is Prince Helfrich, a pioneering river runner, leading an expedition down the Owyhee River in the mid-sixties.

My thanks to reader John Ost of Portland, Oregon, for the tip-off. John tells me he has made the same trip with his wife and friends in his drift boat several times – he does it as the river is dropping and is clearer than it was when this film was made.

Offsets for building the 12ft BBA Fleet trow now available

Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis launch 2014 photographs

Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis launch 2014 photographs

The folks at the Boat Building Academy have kindly made the offsets available for the cute little Fleet trow some of its students built during their long course last year.

For the offsets laid out in a pdf, and more pictures of the handy, easily built little boat, click here and go to the bottom of the post.

BBA students build and launch Fleet Trow

Every spring and autumn, the Boat Building Academy folks send over some photos and a few words about their student’s  launches.

The shots above were taken by Jenny Steer and Derek Thompson, so my thanks to them and to the Academy.

Here’s what they have to say about the first boat launched at the BBA launch on the 3rd December last year:

‘A crowd of about three hundred people braved the cold to celebrate with the class of March 2014 at their student boat launch.

‘The sun shone as four boats, each built as part of the students’ intensive 38 week training, were launched into Lyme Regis Harbour for the first time.

‘Mayor of Lyme Regis Sally Holman and Academy Director Tim Gedge said a few words congratulating the group on their achievements.  Then the champagne corks popped as each boat launched.

‘Eleven students joined the Academy’s level 3 course boat building, maintenance and support’ course last March. Of all ages, some were local but others came from places as far away as Brazil and America.

‘The first to be launched launch was The Lost Tribe, a 12ft glued clinker Fleet trow.

‘Planked in marine ply, the Trow has a khaya stem with bright finished sapele thwarts and trim.

Trows are used on the Fleet, a lagoon located behind Chesil Beach in West Dorset, to transport mackerel caught off the beach across to the mainland, and for wildfowling.

‘The Lost Tribe is based on a 1970s example featured in the book Working Boats of Britain – Their Shape and Purpose by Eric McKee.

‘One of the builders, Nigel Chapman, worked as an engineer on the National Grid for 29 years before joining the Academy.?Spending time with friends who worked as boat builders – and seeing them enjoy the work they did – made Nigel want to develop his carpentry skills and train to become a boat builder too.

‘Nigel’s main partner in the build, Fred Faro, came to the Academy from Brazil, where he worked as field engineer and manager on heavy infrastructure projects. ?With a love for the sea and a desire to work with his hands using practical skills, he decided that becoming a boat builder would combine the two.

‘When Nigel was taken ill part way through the course, Fred and other members of the group completed the build.  On the day, Fred and Nigel’s wife Alison together launched The Lost Tribe.  We all wish Nigel a speedy recovery and look forward to him joining us again when he’s fit.  Fred is now at Palma Mallorca, working for Classic Yacht Shipwrights and Joiners.

For photos of The Lost Tribe’s build, see the Boat Building Academy’s website here.

PS – Here’s a real bonus. The good people at the BBA have agreed to make the offsets for the 12ft Fleet trow available via Intheboatshed.net.  Click on the drawing for the pdf.

offsets Fleet trow