Tag Archives: IBTC

Boathouse 4 – an amazing new centre for teaching boatbuilding and shipbuilding skills training

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Some 500 adults and families are to have the opportunity to receive training in traditional boat and shipbuilding skills at Portsmouth’s Boathouse 4, I have been told by Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust projects coordinator Abi Isherwood.

Up to 85 students will be able to attend 47-week full-time courses courses provided by IBTC Portsmouth, a new charity to be operated by Nat Wilson of IBTC Lowestoft – Graduates will leave with valuable transferrable skills, equipping them for work in the maritime industry or indeed the wider heritage sector.

I gather seven bursaries will be available each year for those with enthusiasm and aptitude.

The figures Nat gave me don’t quite line up, but he’ll know best. He says the projected numbers are year 1, 35 students; year 2, 45; year 3 60; and probably plateauing out at about that.

He notes that these totals will include those doing the course for their own interest, those just taking a year out, those from abroad who will return to their country of origin and those who will move sideways into transferable skills jobs such as furniture making or green frame timber house building. Therefore, probably only 20-25 per cent of successful students will be looking for a career in the traditional boatbuilding sector and even some of these will go abroad, as do our existing students.

And I’m also told that Portsmouth’s Highbury College will also be delivering boatbuilding and engineering courses at Boathouse 4.

Apprenticeships are not on offer, but may be an option later, says Abi.

More information including details of courses is available from IBTC chief exec Nat Wilson at tel 01502 569663, email ibtc2@btconnect.com and the IBTC website.

Here’s the guts of IBTC’s press releases about their part in the project:

IBTC to open Portsmouth branch

In partnership with Portsmouth Naval Base, the new charity IBTC Portsmouth, is delighted to have been awarded a 3.8 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a further £ 455,000 from the Regional Growth Fund which will enable us to establish a south coast centre of our renowned College, in Boatshed No 4, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The IBTC at Oulton Broad will continue to operate alongside the new centre in Portsmouth, working together to increase our profile, prestige and marketing efficiency.

At Oulton Broad and in anticipation of this event, we have taken a number of measures to augment what we already do. These include, the establishment of National Historic Ship’s UK East Anglian Hub for the Shipshape Network, a major Coastal Communities Fund bid and applying for charity status.

The CCF project will build our links with the Excelsior Trust, Lowestoft and access to its facilities, build and expand on the Hub concept, improve footpath access and establish a water taxi to run between Oulton Broad and the Heritage Quay in Lowestoft. We will also build on our sawmill facility to provide reasonable priced native timber to boat builders and furniture builders in the region.

Our landlords, Tilia Properties are also committing funds to major refurbishment works to our building including new insulated roofs, wall cladding and new doors and windows throughout.

Whilst the Portsmouth project is a fantastic chance to spread our training to the centre of south coast yachting and boatbuilding, we see our Oulton Broad branch catering for those living north of the M25, and northern Europe and Scandinavia. Here we offer a quieter more relaxed atmosphere than will be possible in the busy tourist attraction of Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.

Traditional Boatbuilding Skills Project in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard secures Heritage Lottery Fund support

Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust (PNBPT) is delighted to have received a grant of £3.75m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its Boatbuilding & Heritage Skills Training Centre project, announced today. The project, which focuses on preserving and celebrating valuable traditional skills, will be delivered by PNBPT and the IBTC Portsmouth, the new, south coast branch of the long established International Boatbuilding Training College, specialists in traditional boatbuilding training. The Centre will open its doors to the public and begin training in April 2015.

Boathouse 4, an iconic building within the Historic Dockyard constructed during the massive 1930’s rearmament period, will be restored and opened to the public as the Boatbuilding & Heritage Skills Training Centre. The Boathouse will become a Centre of Excellence for boatbuilding training, with IBTC Portsmouth and Highbury College delivering practical, intensive courses in traditional boatbuilding and related skills. The Centre will provide annual Heritage Bursaries, offering local people currently unemployed or disengaged with education the opportunity to undertake one year’s full time traditional boatbuilding training, leading to a City and Guilds qualification and an IBTC Portsmouth Diploma. Graduates will leave the Centre with valuable boatbuilding and engineering skills, enabling them to develop careers in the broader heritage and marine sectors.

Nat Wilson, CEO of IBTC Portsmouth said: ‘Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, as the centre of the nation’s maritime heritage, is the best location in the UK to deliver traditional boatbuilding skills training. We are looking forward to opening our doors in April 2015 and are already receiving enquiries from those wishing to take up our range of courses.’

The Centre will also offer many opportunities for people to get involved with and learn about our maritime heritage, including short courses and family weekend programmes, sessions with local schools, a summer festival, and an extended volunteer scheme offering mentoring and skills training.

Visitors will be able to watch traditional boatbuilding in action as well as enjoy fun, tactile and engaging exhibitions on the building and the fascinating story of small boats in the British Navy, including the display of several small craft from the Trust’s own collection. The Centre, based in the very boathouse used during World War 2 to construct the secret three man midget X-Craft submarine, will be the perfect setting for visitors to discover the astonishing history of small boats in the Navy, from Captain Bligh cast off the Bounty in a 23ft launch to Ernest Shackleton’s legendary voyage to South Georgia in the James Caird.

Peter Goodship, PNBPT Consultant Chief Executive said: ‘The Heritage Lottery Fund grant will increase diversification in the Historic Dockyard, leading to meaningful community engagement and greatly enhanced prospects of employment for those taking the training courses. It is also significant that Boathouse 4 will be used for the purpose for which it was originally built, bringing alive part of the civilian story of the Dockyard, as well as giving a new slant on the history of the Royal Navy.’

Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: ‘This is a great opportunity to provide in demand and popular heritage skills training. The project will recreate the industrial past of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s impressive cathedral-sized boathouse which was so crucial for rearmament on the South coast during World War Two. We are passionate about helping people learn new skills so our great maritime heritage can be enjoyed and maintained for the future.’

As well as securing the future of Boathouse 4, the skills training opportunities delivered within this project will help to create the next generation of craftsmen to preserve iconic ships such as HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. IBTC Portsmouth students will spend part of their course at the Shipwright’s School to be established at the historic shipbuilding village of Buckler’s Hard on the Beaulieu River, enabling them to further develop the skills required for the construction and restoration of larger vessels.

Dominic Tweddle, Director-General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, which owns HMS Victory, said ‘HMS Victory depends on traditional craft skills for her very survival. It is splendid that there will be a centre at the Dockyard which can train the people Victory desperately needs.’

The project has also received £479,000 from the Regional Growth Fund, a Government initiative supporting large projects with the potential to create long-term private sector jobs, as part of a £1.3m award towards PNBPT projects.

Victorian racing yacht Germaine relaunched after many years at the IBTC

Germaine relaunched 1

 

Germaine relaunched 2 Germaine relaunched 3 Germaine relaunched 4

The 1882 Nicholson racing yacht Germaine has been relaunched following a long restoration at the International Boatbuilding Training Centre at Lowestoft.

Once she is fully rigged and has her new suit of sails she will sail to her new home in Brittany.

Germaine was designed by Ben Nicholson for a prominent racer, Mr FW Leybourne Popham.

After being photographed by Beken, she sailed to the Med in December 1882 and returned in the spring of 1883, passed to Mr Harvey A Dixon, who rigged her as a cutter. She was later made into a yawl again, and passed through further changes of ownership – later owners were Major Middleton Robinson and Mr HW Whittingham of Goodmayes, Essex. In the early 60s she was found on the banks of the Blackwater by Ann and Peter Christgau, who refloated and cleaned her, and sold her in the mid-1960s.

Eventually she returned to the Camper and Nicholson yard, where she was to be repaired ready for the yard’s bicentenary celebrations. Sadly the yard got into financial difficulties and the project had to be abandoned.

Germaine’s cause was then taken up by Patrick Bigand, who acquired her and transported her to the IBTC in 1997 for restoration.

The restoration took quite some time, and I gather that she leaves quite a space in the College’s premises, having been there for two decades, but it must be wonderful for the staff and students to see her back on the water.

PS – Donan Raven points out that there’s some good material about Germaine here – and that it includes a set of lines, two Beken photos and some shots of the IBTC restoration. Thanks Donan!

A great IBTC student boat builder’s weblog

Scantlings Weblog

I very much like IBTC student Philip Lane’s weblog – it shows a real pride in what he’s learning to do and what the college does, and boy does he adore the boats he works on.

And so he should. They have included a pretty little rowing boat planked in larch, an 1882 Camper & Nicholson yawl, and 1882 Camper and Nicholson pilot cutter, an Aldeburgh One-Design dinghy, a Herreshoff Columbia dinghy, a River Cam dinghy, and a 1912 William Fife III Six Metre, and the Albert Strange-designed Cloud.

Gosh… How will he ever be able to go back to normal life after an experience like that? Perhaps his weblog will cover that part too…

National Historic Ships network Shipshape East Anglia meets for the first time at Lowestoft

Shipshape network

Shipshape East Anglia members network at the International Boatbuilding Training College, Lowestoft

Over 40 boatbuilders, historic vessel owners, suppliers and trainees met as a group earlier this month for the first time at a meeting organised by the Shipshape Network in East Anglia.

The forum took place at the International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) at Lowestoft, where they were addressed by National Historic Ships UK policy and project manager Hannah Cunliffe.

The event marked the launch of a series of new Shipshape East Anglia pages for the region – these list and detail 85 historic vessels in the area, and over 50 boat building companies and specialist suppliers. The IBTC is to act as local hub for network and is to provide local support and advice to members, a regional base and access to facilities.

Regional projects presented at the event include:

The Shipshape Network is managed by National Historic Ships UK, the independent government funded organisation representing the interests of historic vessels in the UK. The Network provides a framework for all those with an interest in ship conservation and is home to the National Directory of Skills & Services, promoting the regeneration of traditional maritime skills and techniques.

Bid to restore Portsmouth Dockyard Boathouse and open Portsmouth branch of the IBTC gets initial approval

Photo: Peter Facey, via Wikimedia Commons

Heritage Lottery Fund officials have announced that a bid to develop Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s Boathouse no 4 to include a traditional boat building training centre run by the International Boatbuilding Training College has successfully passed the first stage of its application for funding.

If the bid is successful, Boathouse no 4, which was constructed during the massive 1930s period of re-armament and used for constructing the secret three man midget X-Craft submarine during World War II, will be restored and opened to the public as the Boatbuilding & Heritage Skills Training Centre.

Visitors will be able to watch traditional boat building in action, as well as enjoy exhibitions on the story of small boats in the British Navy.

As well as securing the future of Boathouse 4, the project is expected to help produce the craftsmen needed to preserve iconic ships such as HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, although graduates will leave the academy with carpentry and engineering skills to enable them to develop careers in the marine and heritage sectors more generally.

The Portsmouth branch of the IBTC will be in addition to the long-established college near Lowestoft in Suffolk.

See the Heritage Lottery Fund announcement.

The Leila Sailing Trust appeals for a little more financial help

The magnificent restored Victorian gentleman’s sailing yacht Leila has her new transom and new stanchions required by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s requirements for guard rails. The windlass has been fitted, and down below the ballast is secured with a wooden lattice. The electrics are all in conduit and waterproof boxes, a bilge alarm has been fitted and Perkins the engine runs sweetly.

It all sounds good – but the Leila Sailing Trust is running low on cash and desperately needs £2000 to finish their work so that they can move her at the end of the month to Lowestoft, where she will have a new berth close to the International Boatbuilding Training College - which I gather is likely to be providing advice.

Leila’s currently being worked on in Southwold Harbour.

The Leila Sailing Trust is therefore putting out an impassioned appeal: after all their work, can anyone chip in to help them get over the next few weeks, and take the next beg step towards getting this wonderful old lady back to sea? Contact them via the website.

James Caird replica Alexandra Shackleton is launched at Portland

A replica of the James Caird built by the International Boatbuilding Training College was officially named and launched at Portland on Sunday, 18th March.

She is to be used by the Shackleton Epic Expedition to recreate Ernest Shackleton’s original voyage in April 1916, when he and five others sailed their ship’s boat, the original James Caird, 8oo miles from Elephant Island to South Georgia in order to get help for the rest of the crew of the Endurance, which had been crushed by ice in the Weddell Sea.

On landing on South Georgia they then faced a climb over snow- and ice-covered mountains without  maps to the whaling station at Grytviken to raise the alarm.

This is the first time both elements of the journey have been attempted, and it will be filmed as a documentary. The expedition will be led by Tim Jarvis, explorer and environmentalist.

The replica boat was named after the Hon Alexandra Shackleton, who is patron of the expedition and granddaughter of Sir Ernest.

The original James Caird lies at Dulwich College, London, and so the IBTC was able to take the accurate measurements, offsets and scantling dimensions required for an authentic replica, by kind permission of the college archivist Calista Lucy.

The Alexandra Shackleton was built in two stages, as was the original, which started life as an open whaler, and was then modified on the ice after the Endurance was lost. The topsides were built up by three planks, and then decked-in to leave only a small open cockpit. Two spars were added, with a third bolted to the keel to add strength and act as a mast step.

It’s reported that on launching the new boat leaked not a drop. Sebastian Coulthard, who is due to crew with Jarvis, said that he was really impressed with the build quality and sturdiness of the boat.

Ballasting and sea trials will follow.

For more intheboatshed.net posts relating to the Shackleton expedition, the famous voyage in the James Caird, and to the new expedition and its boat, click here, here, here, here and here. And there’s more if you look hard…