Keith Bowers launched his 15ft Prospector Ranger into the water at the Boat Building Academy’s latest launch day in Dedcember.
He used plans published in Moores’ book ‘Canoecraft’, but added a breasthook of his own design and a yoke. He also created two kneeling seats which can be placed anywhere within the canoe to suit the paddler.
Originally from Wales, Keith named the canoe is named Y Ddraig, the Welsh for dragon.
Keith worked in a variety of roles before joining the BBA, including working as a labourer, a bar supervisor and most recently a support officer for Worcestershire County Council – he has a BSc in computer studies.
Now, however, he is to take his new skills to the Underfall Boatyard in Bristol, which is named after a set of underfall sluices created by Isambard Kingdom Brunel to control water levels in Bristol Harbour in 1832.
The yard is a scheduled monument and includes several listed buildings.
In his spare time Keith will work on projects at his home workshop – initially building a traditional clinker dinghy and taking Y Ddraig on the river Avon and Chew Valley lake, which is a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a national centre for bird watching, and is near where he lives.