Tag Archives: lyme regis

Boat Building Academy students launch their boats in broad sunshine – and entertaining winds

Brilliant sun shone on the Boat Building Academy’s  Class of September 2013 big launch day at Lyme Regis’s harbour last week.

The students launched six boats and a paddle board built as part of their 38-week course, while a crowd of around three hundred including previous graduates, students’ families and friends, boating enthusiasts and other well-wishers gathered at the harbour.

The boats entered the water following a few words from BBA director Tim Gedge and Lyme Regis’s Mayor, Sally Holman.

Champagne corks popped as the students launched their boats, which were:

  • a 12ft traditional clinker dinghy designed by Paul Gartside
  • a Selway Fisher-designed 12ft 6in Northumbrian Coble
  • a 14ft 6in Rock Pipet composite sailing canoe designed by Richard Lyford in partnership with Solway Dory
  • a Don Kurylko-designed 18ft 1in Alaska  yawl-rigged beach cruiser
  • a Richard Dongray-designed 20ft Golant Ketch with cabin and twin masts
  • a 16ft  F16 composite-built catamaran
  • 14ft paddle board designed by Chesapeake Light Craft

A brisk breeze meant that sailing was a little challenging, I’m told, although a ducking that the Northumbrian Coble sailors received seems to have owed more to human error than to the wind or the boat.

The graduating students joined the course from the UK, Jersey and Norway. Their backgrounds are equally diverse. Some start work almost as soon as the course ends:

  • Reuben Thompson is going to Cockwells
  • Tony Corke is going to Mussett Engineering in Norfolk
  • David Rotheram returns to Liverpool after a career away from home in the RAF, to work for Douglas Marine Ltd
  • Richard Lyford’s sailing canoe will become part of the Solway Dory range when Richard returns to designing submarine systems
  • Keith McIlwain, who built the Golant Ketch, will return to Bristol where he will soon start his own boat building/restoration/repair business, Daydream Boats

Student Ask Serck-Hanssen is to go to Brunel University to study engineering.

More information about the students who make up the Class of September 2013 can be found here, while photographic diaries of the build of the boat projects can be found here.

BBA students build Herreshoff Biscayne Bay sailing skiff

Photos by Jenny Steer and Becky Joseph

This Nat Herreshoff-designed Biscayne Bay sailing skiff was built by Boat Building Academy student Nick Roche and launched at the BBA student launch day at Lyme Harbour last month.

Sadly there wasn’t much of a breeze, but Nick still rowed, with his sails set, out into the harbour to join the other Academy boats.

The skiff is 14ft 5in in length and of multi-chine construction and with a drop keel.

Nick chose the elegant 1912 American design because its lines and classic appearance appealed to him.

The sails were made at the Academy as part of a sail making course taught by Jeremy White of Elvstrom Sails; Jeremy was also on hand at the launch to help Nick with rigging.

Nick joined the Academy in March with the aim of making a career change after spending the past 19 years working in forest management and conservation in the UK, Asia and Africa. He is a qualified PRojects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2) practitioner and has worked as a co-ordinator for the Nepal-UK Community Forestry Project in Nigeria and for the Mersey Forest.

Nick will now find work in the marine industry, preferably in wooden boat building and will use his skiff for day sailing with family and friends.

Tom Oughton worked closely with Nick on the build as well as helping others with their build projects. Keen kayaker, Tom from Weymouth has worked as a lifeguard and activity instructor for PGL in France. He was inspired to learn boat building after his father built a strip-planked kayak and he decided to join the Academy looking for a new skilled based career.

Tom’s long term goal is to develop the traditional and modern skills he has gained from the Academy. In the future, when he has gained more experience at a yard, he would like to set up his own small business building wooden and composite boats.

See BBA student profiles here, boat diaries here, and photos from the launch here.

Lyme Regis to be the new home of Bantry Bay gig Intégrité

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Lyme Regis is to be the home of the 38ft Bantry Bay gig that represents Great Britain in the two-yearly Atlantic Challenge.

In addition to the Atlantic Challenge, Intégrité will also take part in a new venture, Atlantic Challenge England.

The sail and oar-powered boat was built by the late John Kerr, boat builder and founder of Atlantic Challenge GB, in his workshop in Llandysul, West Wales in 1992.

Real greyhounds of the sea, the Bantry Bay gigs are wooden replicas of late 18th century longboats, and are modelled on an existing original gig left behind in Bantry Bay, Ireland by the invading French fleet of 1796 – if, like me, you don’t remember the story of the French attempt to invade Ireland in that era, there’s a page of information at the Wikipedia.

Some 55 of the boats have been built, often by communities.

Taking care of Intégrité and racing her is to be  sister project of the town’s Gig Club, an will have its own committee who will undertake fundraising and oversee the storage, maintenance and management of the gig in partnership with Lyme Regis Development Trust. I understand local boat builder Gail McGarva is very much involved, and that the project is also supported by the Lyme Regis harbour master.