Category Archives: Skills and tuition

Schoolchildren build two Julie skiffs at Faversham

A group of lucky schoolchildren have built two 16ft Julie skiffs at a Faversham Creek Trust boatcamp led by local boatbuilder Alan Thorne and assistant Malcolm Hazleton at the trust’s Purifier building.

The skiffs are to be launched at the town’s nautical festival around mid-day on the 23rd July. Naturally, Julie and I plan to be there!

See the free boat plans page in the tabs above to download the drawings etc to build this lightweight plywood flat bottomed skiff and two shorter versions at 14 and 12ft.

When I called by on Friday afternoon I met a small crowd of enthusiastic, engaged kids and a clutch of happy parents – and two cool looking boats, Santa Crews and Stormy.  Alan and Malcolm had done a good job, and the FCT’s boatcamp had been a success.

‘Have you had a good time?’ I asked.

‘Yes,’ the kids called back.

‘Would you do it again?’

‘Yes,’ they chorused.

A mother turned to me and said ‘My son’s always been a maker and now he’s decided he wants to be a boatbuilder.’

I think she must have been reasonably happy with the idea, as she did not add ‘but I think he should have a proper job as well’.

The following shots are Malcolm’s. Thanks fella!

This Bridlington-built rowing boat is beautiful – but the owner needs help

This lovely rowing boat built by P Siddall of Bridlington – but its Dutch owner, Ton Jansse, is in need of knowledge and advice on how best to proceed. He has already asked how to replace the missing bits of strake, how the interior should be laid out, what kind of paint to use and what colours would have been used originally.

He’s clearly the kind of chap who wants to do it the right way.

If anyone can fill in some of the gaps in terms of paint and colours, interior and so on – and if anyone has photos of similar boats, please let me know at gmatkin@gmail.com, as usual.

But perhaps the biggest question, I think, is the one about how to obtain the necessary boatbuilding skills. Short of going on a course (desirable, probably, but not always practical), what do readers think an amateur’s best sources are these days?

Boat Building Academy student launch 23rd November

student-launch-dec-2015

It’s nearly time for one of the BBA’s great annual events – the autumn-winter student launch, which this year takes place at Lyme Regis on the 23rd November. (The photo above is from last year’s event.)

They’re inviting folks to join the celebrations, which begin at 12:00 when five boats built or restored by the 38-week boat building, maintenance and support course class of February 2016 are launched.

The boats to be launched are:

  • 11ft6in Iain Oughtred-designed Guillemot
  • 14ft RNSA dinghy restoration
  • 15ft Christmas Wherry
  • 15ft sailing canoe
  • 12ft 1930s International 12 racing dinghy restoration

They make an ingteresting collection. See photos of the projects as the students work on them.

The BBA folks have published a its 2017 short course programme – new courses for 2017 include:

  • introduction to woodworking (back by popular demand)
  • separate courses on antique furniture restoration and marquetry are now part of the regular programmeafter running once each in 2016

Principal Yvonne Green tells me that this year some 40% of people joining short courses had been on a BBA course before, which I guess says a lot about what folks think about the courses.