Category Archives: Techniques

Alasdair Grant builds a 21ft carvel built motor launch

Lewenie is a 21ft carvel-built launch with larch on oak frames  currently being built by Alasdair Grant of Isle Ewe Boats, based at Isle Ewe on the North Western coast of Scotland.

Alasdair completed the long course at the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis in 2009, after building a Beer Beach Boat, and went on to work at Cockwells , repairing yachts and completing new builds. He then moved back to Scotland to work in the Mallaig Boatyard repairing fishing boats, and has now moved home to Isle Ewe where he’s started out in boat building on his own.

Here’s what Alasdair has to say about the project:

Lewenie’s hull is finished and I’m beginning the fit out ahead of her launch in July. ‘She’s to have a forward cuddy/wheelhouse with traditioinal laid decks fore and aft, and is to be powered by a 30hp Beta diesel. She will be based in Chichester.

‘I designed the boat when I was working in Cornwall. At the end of the summer last year I left my job in Mallaig Boat Yard to come to Ewe Isle and build the boat .

‘I had planned to fit it out with a couple of berths as a kind of gentleman’s launch when it was finished. But while I was building the hull friend suggested I advertise it so could have the finished boat tailor-made for them.

‘So that’s what I did. A few peope got in touch , one of which was Stephen Comley, a project manager working in Canada.

‘Steve sent his brother and a surveyor to look at the hull and bought it. He plans to retire this year to the English South Coast, where he plans to enjoy fishing in Lewenie.’

See the Isle Ewe Facebook page, and contact Alasdair at
alasdairgrant@hotmail.co.uk .

BBA December 2014 student launch photos

The Boat Building Academy’s class of March 2014 launched the boats built as part of their course under brilliant blue skies on 3 December. Here’s principal Yvonne Green’s report:

‘Two hundred people including Lyme Regis mayor Sally Holman gathered to celebrate the end of the course.

‘The eleven students came to the BBA from places as far apart as Brazil, America and Bridport, just 9 miles down the road from Lyme.

‘For the first time a father and son, Laurence and Will Shillingford, were on the course at the same time. Will is off to work at Michael Dennett’s in Chertsey, where he will join 2013 intake graduate Adam Smith, while Laurence returns to Bridport, with a 21ft Thames skiff based on a drawing in the book Working Boats of Britain by Eric McKee.

‘The François Vivier-designed 14ft Beg Meil gaff-rigged dinghy made a festive splash of red, crew dressed in homage to the designer.

‘Instructor Mike Broome designed the 14ft outboard-powered runabout.

‘Sadly a strip-planked Alden O Class sloop was unfinished and stayed in the workshop; in order to launch her the students would have made a rush job of finishing, which would have been a sin.

‘But she’s still going to attract a lot of attention once she’s finished.

‘Last but not least is The Lost Tribe. A 12ft glued clinker Fleet Trow. Builder and owner Nigel Chapman plans to use her for fishing, but was taken seriously ill half way through the course. The Trow was finished, but fortunately Nigel is recovering and we look forward to him rejoining us when he’s fit enough.

‘After the certificate awards the students danced until 10pm at the Power Boat Club on the beach opposite the Academy.

‘They’ve thrown down the gauntlet to their friends in the class of September 2014, who move down onto the main workshop floor after Christmas.’

An invitation to the BBA student launch, 3rd December 2014

BBA invitation

This is the BBA’s invitation to its next launch extravaganza. As usual I can’t tear myself away from my desk of travail – because of the need to earn a living – but I’m sure it will be a great event, as always.

If you do go, please send photos you’d like to share to gmatkin@gmail.com.

‘Please join us for the next Boat Building Academy boat launch at 1200 on Wednesday 3 December.  Boats will process from the school on Monmouth Beach to Lyme Regis harbour at 1130.

‘Mayor of Lyme Regis Sally Holman and Director of the Academy Tim Gedge will say a few words before the boats go into the water for the first time.

‘The boats include a traditional clinker Thames skiff, a stitch and glued outboard-powered Broome runabout, a glued clinker Beg Meil design gaff-rigged dinghy, and a glued clinker Fleet trow.

‘We will be delighted if you can join us to celebrate the students’ achievements at the end of the course and to wish them all the best in their new careers.’