Category Archives: Small boats

BBA students build a small faering

The traditionally built faering named Pingvin, was built by Boat Building Academy students Max Stembridge and Ben Walker-Riley, and was designed by Max’s naval architect father Peter Stembridge, whose company, Seawing Europe, works with Sunseeker and similar.  The photos above are by Paul Dyer, Becky Brown and Jenny Steer.

The double-ended boat has laminated iroko stems and solid iroko hog and keel. She is planked in larch with rose.

Max joined the course from Hampshire just after completing his A levels. A practical person, before joining the Academy, he finished restoring a Triumph Tiger Cub motorbike, and for his design technology A level he enjoyed building a pop-up roof tent for his VW.

Taking a gap-year and wanting to do something meaningful in this time, Max came to the BBA to develop his practical skills.

Ben has worked as a photographer’s assistant in Brighton, and also has a degree in marine biology from Portsmouth University. For part of his course he joined the Atlantic Whale Foundation conservation programme in Honduras, where he focused on whale shark and coral reef conservation.  He has PADI Diving certificates and is also a qualified Ski Instructor.  Looking for a career that would combine his love for the water and enable him to work creatively, Ben decided to join the 38-week course.

Max has now been offered a place to study architecture at Greenwich, which he says his time at the Academy greatly helped him to receive, while Ben plans to use his new skills and level 3 diploma to begin a career in the marine industry.

See Pingvin’s build diary.

Onawind Blue, back on the water and sailing joyfully

Onawindblue at sea again


It’s great to see Light Trow builder, adventurer, weblogger and author Ben Crawshaw back on the water in his Light TrowOnawind Blue – and having a damned good time sailing in company with his pal Ricardo in his Dudley Dix-designed Argie, Red Wine.

As well as Ben’s celebration of sailing and life, I’m struck by the (slightly unfair) comparisons between the two rather different boats, and reminded of my view that sailing in company is best done in identical or at least well matched boats. Read all about it here.

Btw, check Ben’s successful experiment with a staysail!


Scooters, boats and camping