Tag Archives: dinghy

BBA student launches Iain Oughtred glued clinker rowing boat

Photos by Jenny Steer and Becky Joseph

This 9ft 6in Iain Oughtred-designed glued clinker dinghy built by Boat Building Academy student Alex Kennedy hit the water for the first time at the BBA’s student launch day back in December.

Built to Oughtred’s Sea Hen plans, she is named Gracious Lady, and is planked in Robbins elite ply.

During the build Iain Oughtred himself regularly showed his support to Alex via the Academy’s facebook page, giving the thumbs-up to photographs of the dinghy throughout its build, and also to Alex’s birthday cake, which took the shape of a chocolate ship.

Before attending his BBA course, Alex worked in various roles including as a mechanic and chauffeur. He has travelled in Australia and enjoys sailing, swimming and cycling.

Like most most students, he started with little or no woodworking skills, and openly admits that he ‘didn’t even know how to hold a chisel on day one’, but I gather he is now delighted with what he has achieved.

James Goulding worked closely with Alex on Sea Hen. James went to school in Dubai and then completed a BTEC National Diploma in Design at Chichester College before joining the Academy. His previous jobs have ranged from carpenting in Bournemouth to sales in Dubai.

James plans to use his new skills to find work in the marine industry and would like to travel the world; Since the course ended Alex has visited America and is to do a two-week internship at the Mystic Seaport Museum.

Boat project starts at the Faversham Creek Trust’s Purifier Building

Alan Thorne starts a project at the Faversham Creek Trust's Purifier Building


My pal Alan Thorne is starting a project to build a small dinghy at his new workshop at the the Faversham Creek Trust’s Purifier Building. It’s only a start – but here’s one he built earlier (clue – I don’t mean he built the sailing barge Dawn you see in the background!).

Let’s hope this is that start of something really good.

One of Alan Thorne's small boats with the sailing barge in the background Alan Thorne dinghy

Simon Papendick starts building an Andrew Wolstenholme dinghy

Mai-Star dinghy

Mai-Star dinghy 2 Mai-Star dinghy 3

Here’s one to follow: now equipped with a new apprentice, Essex boat builder Simon Papendick is starting work on a new clinker-built dinghy for use as a tender – a shortened 3.1m version of boat designer Andrew Wolstenholme’s Coot in larch and with oak ribs.

I get the feeling that Simon hopes to make more of these in future.

Simon’s logging the whole thing at his new weblog The new dinghy build (Mai-Star).


BBA student builds replica of 1916 Morgan Giles dinghy

Replica of 1916 Morgan Giles dinghy photo by Derek Thompson


CJenny-Steer-Photography-June-2013-13.jpg  CJenny-Steer-Photography-June-2013-1  Jenny-Steer-Photography-June-2013-11.jpg


Photos by Becky Joseph, Jenny Steer, Derek Thompson

Boat Building Academy Ben Charny built a replica of Pip Emma, a 7 1/2ft clinker built stem dinghy originally built by Morgan Giles for his children in 1916, and which is now part of the collection at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth.

The pictures above show Ben’s boat at the BBA’s class of 2012 student launch held a few weeks ago. A photographic diary of the boat’s build – Ben built it while on the BBA’s 38-week course – can be seen here.

The boat was built with sweet chestnut planking and a black walnut for the transom. Ben visited the museum to take the lines of the original Pip Emma and then lofted full-sized plans for his replica at the Academy, which is at Lyme.

The name Pip Emma is taken from the phonetic alphabet used by Royal Air Force signallers in World War I and means PM, or afternoon. In keeping with this, Ben has chosen to name his replica, Ack Emma, meaning AM.

Ben grew up just down the road from the Academy in the seaside town of Sidmouth, Devon, and has worked far from home as a deckhand and bosun in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and crossed the Atlantic.

He has now returned to the Mediterranean as a ships carpenter aboard Eleonora, a 50 metre replica of a 1910 Nathaniel Herreshoff yacht, using the skills learned as part of his training in Lyme Regis.

Ben plans to sail Ack Emma with family and friends, when back at home in Sidmouth.

The launch

The launch took place on an unseasonably wet June morning, but joined by family and friends, Academy staff and Lyme Regis locals, on 12th June, students braved the weather to ceremonially walk their boats from the Academy workshop on Monmouth Beach, down to the slipway, where a crowd of well-wishers had gathered at the water’s edge to take part in the celebrations.

Following a few words from BBA director Commander Tim Gedge and town mayor Sally Holman, Ben’s little dinghy was the first boat to launch.

More information about the academy and the 38-week course can be found on the BBA website.

Boat Building Academy launch day, summer 2012 – Sunrise


Despite wet weather, a crowd of friends, family, BBA staff, past graduates and even the Lyme’s Mayor joined the 18 students on the Academy’s 38-week course to celebrate completing nine months of hard work.

Sunrise, above, was the first student boat to hit the water. A 13ft by 5ft 6in traditional clinker-built dinghy planked in larch, she was built by students George Herivel and Will Heward, and will be used for rowing and sailing.

Academy instructor Justin Adkin designed Sunrise using photographs of a boat that George’s family owned in Alderney, and then created a half-model of the boat to ensure that he was happy with the design. Justin suggests that some future students may wish to build the same boat, as it has good freeboard, a full transom and firm bilges – between them, these features should give the boat a secure feel, lots of bouyancy and the ability to stand up to its sails.

Goerge says he wanted to build a boat with the same stability and handling in fairly heavy weather as the original and has been completely happy with the outcome – the boat was sailing on Lake Windermere only last week, and although the breezes were light it still performed and handled extremely well.

He added that it can accommodate up to four comfortably when sailing, and six when rowed.

Before coming to the BBA, George, who is originally from Alderney had retired from the Army and was living in Plymouth, where he worked in a variety of roles as transport manager, carpenter and also assistant manager for Screwfix.

George has returned to Plymouth following his graduation from the BBA and aims to work in the boat building industry with a view to starting his own business – his aim is to specialise in traditional boat building methods.

Will is originally from West Dorset but spent four years working around Australia before starting at the BBA.

After graduating, Will gained a position at Spirit Yachts of Ipswich in Suffolk and is due to begin work in August.

Marcus Lewis builds two more Fowey River dinghies

Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies

Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies

Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies

In all the gloom at this time of year, it’s great to hear the cheery news that Marcus Lewis is building two of his splendid 15ft Fowey River dinghies down at his workshop. Here’s what he says:

‘Hi Gavin – You’ve had some good posts lately! Just thought I would drop you a line about what has been going on in my workshop lately. This winter we had two orders for Fowey River dinghies, originally 15ft ‘knockabouts‘ designed by Reg Freeman in the late 1940s.

‘We have just finished fitting the thwarts and knees, and now comes the big clean out and dust down before we start coating up the inside with a couple of coats of International quick dry sealer, followed by International original and schooner varnish.

‘Building two together saves a little time, but it does fill the shed up, and doesnt leave much room for handling timber through the thicknesser or bandsaw! The photos show the new boats half built, how they are now, the designer’s lines and layout drawings, and photos of Fowey River 56 – a boat we built a couple of years ago.

‘The distinctive coloured sails are not compulsory by the way – but most owners get their crayons out and design their own colour scheme.

‘By the way, the gunter-rigged and clinker-built Mayflower dinghy we built last year is still available. Perhaps it will sell when the weather warms up!

‘Best wishes


Thanks for the post Marcus – and for the new header shot.

Marcus can be contacted on tel 07973 420568 and via his website www.woodenboatbuilder.co.uk.

Stirling and Son at the London Boat Show

The Stirling and Son folks are inviting readers to see them at the Tullet Prebon London Boat Show, where Stirlings will be on the Classic Boat stand (G120).

Will is planning to build one of his 9ft clinker built dinghies during the show, and visitors will also have a chance to have a close-up look at the new 14ft Stirling & Son sailing dinghy with its rig up. Will offers plans for many of his designs.

I’m sure Will is also aiming to talk to as many people as possible about Integrity, the glorious Victorian-style gentleman’s racing cutter that’s currently in build at Stirlings…