Category Archives: Motor yachts and boats

BBA students build a Robert Steward-designed Barbara Anne for the Thames

 

A crowd of around two hundred people joined the Boat Building Academy’s class of March 2015 at their student boat launch at Lyme Regis harbour in December.

The first boat built by the students during their 38-week training, to be launched was an 18ft7in electric motor launch named Barbara Anne.

Designed by Robert Steward, Barbara Anne’s hull is cold moulded using three layers of marine plywood and one outer layer of mahogany veneers. The outer layer of veneers were laid fore and aft to simulate carvel planking which were later bright finished. She has a laminated mahogany stem, sapele backbone structure and has been fitted with a Marlin 5 single drive (5 KW/48V) electric inboard engine.

Commissioned by student Mark Turner and built by Mark and the class, she will be enjoyed on the Thames. For those unfamiliar with the Academy’s methods, a range of boats selected for their educational value are built as part of the course, and are owned by the student(s) who pay for the materials

Mark joined the Academy from Buckinghamshire, where he worked as a financial director and controller for 20 years. Enjoying sailing, rowing and diving, and keen to change to a more practical line of work, he decided to join the 38-week course to learn skills for a new career in the marine industry.

Mark originally planned to build a sailing dinghy as part of his training but on a visit to Thames wooden boat builders, Henwood and Dean he became inspired by the river motor launches he saw and so decided to build one for himself.

Mark came across lines drawings for Barbara Anne in a magazine found in the Academy’s collection. Apart from modifying the plans to include an aft deck and enclosed lockers, he chose to remain faithful to the original design.

Peter Tysall from Ilfracombe worked alongside Mark on the build as well as working on the each of the other three boats built by the class. Before coming to the BBA, Peter completed A-Levels in media studies, art and design, and English, and spent time working and travelling around Europe, Indonesia, Morocco, Jamaica, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

He loves to surf and sail and has worked aboard several different sailing yachts as a deckhand. Enjoying this work and wanting to learn further skills to start a career in the marine industry, Peter

decided to take a course at the Academy.

Mark has now returned home to Buckinghamshire where he will work as a boat builder on the Thames, and Peter is exploring options to combine his new skills with further travel.

See Barbara Anne’s build diary here and for further details about the Level 3, 38-week boat building, maintenance and support course, click here.

Broadland Panorama, 1960

Read all about it and a lot of other videos including Broadland Adventure at the excellent Broadland Memories weblog.  

Of Broadland Panorama, the author says: ‘It’s an absolute joy to watch… The film starts with the family’s arrival at the boatyard in Oulton Broad in a brand new Vauxhall PA Velox. Their boat for the week was what would have been the flagship of Hoseasons fleet, the 38ft, 8 berth Mayqueen(renamed Caribbean for this film), which cost between £33/10 and £66 to hire in 1960.’

BBA student launch December 2015

Becky Brown at the Boat Building Academy has written with some photos and more details from the December 2015 student launch. (See Pete Bromwich’s shots published here a few days ago.) She writes:

‘We had some terrible weather this week but yesterday morning, just as the boats were being walked to the harbour, the sun broke through the clouds and the wind calmed enough for us to launch two of the four boats built by the class of March 2015.

The two boats that launched were a cold moulded, bright-finished 18ft7in Robert Steward electric motor launch, Barbara Anne, and a traditional clinker 16ft Norwegian faering built from plans by Iain Oughtred.

‘The two larger boats built by the class are a 22ft7in Iain Oughtred Kotik with a two-berth cabin, and a replica of a Herreshoff 12 1/2. However, these could not be launched – due to some awful luck several members of the class had to take time out of the course – one student was hospitalised after a car crash, another had to spend time in Austria after his father had a serious accident, and two others had to spend weeks away due to illness.

‘As a result the two boats weren’t quite ready and, with the bad weather, it was decided that they should not be launched. They were big projects and visitors invited to an open workshop after the launch could see at close quarters the beauty of the enormous amount of work put into them.

‘When the two unlaunched boats are finally put in the water in Australia and Austria, their respective homes, students Andreas and Steven have promised to send video.

‘It was a great day nevertheless, and thank you to everyone who made the day such a splendid celebration.’

For more photos of the boats completed and in build, click here.