Tag Archives: portsmouth historic dockyard

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.

Sadie Snowdon builds a John Gardner dory

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Sadie Snowdon

Sadie to the sea Sadie workshop 1 Sadie workshop

Sadie’s 14ft Gardner dory project Dolly

Boat Building Academy student Sadie Snowdown built this 14ft Marblehead dory skiff designed by John Gardner, and launched it along with her fellow students’ projects back in June.

It’s a double-chine plywood rowing skiff with oak details that she has set up for two rowers with modern gates and pins rather than the more usual traditional rowlocks.

Sadie joined the course at Lyme after working at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as a volunteer, during which she decided she wanted to develop her boat building skills. See the Portsmouth Dockyard website for information about the work volunteers undertake.

John Gardner’s books are a tremendous body of work if you’re interested in American boat types, and some of them have been available at very keen prices in recent years it’s well worth checking Amazon Johnny Tyson builds a 14ft Whitehall at the Boat Building Academy.

My thanks once again to Academy principal Yvonne Green for the photos.

For more on student launches at the Boat Building Academy, click here.

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