Tag Archives: student launch

BBA student launch, June 2015

The Boat Building Academy’s class of September 2014 launched eight boats in bright but blustery weather at Lyme Regis last month.

I’ve put up lots of photos because I feel they convey the busy atmosphere of the event!

Around three hundred people gathered at the slipway to see the student-built or student-renewed boats were launched for the first time.

Following a few words from academy director Tim Gedge, and former Lyme Regis mayor Sally Holman, each of the boats set off on their maiden voyages, cheered on their way by the crowd.

The boats the students launched were:

  • 10ft restored traditional clinker dinghy, believed to have originally been built by Naval apprentices
  • 12ft strip planked Andrew Wolstenholme Mallard dinghy
  • 13ft glued clinker Iain Oughtred Acorn Skiff
  • 14ft traditional clinker faering designed by builder Max Stembridge’s naval architect father
  • 15ft 2in cold moulded Iain Oughtred Whilly Tern
  • 18ft strip planked Guillemot Night Heron kayak
  • 20ft carvel Seabird Half-Rater (the claimed to be the oldest one-design class boat still sailing, this was the 107th to be built)
  • 22ft clinker built small Viking ship Nordlands 

The Nordlands boat crew managed to keep hold of their Viking hats as they rowed across the harbour and experienced sailors aboard the Seabird Half-Rater and Mallard dinghy enjoyed an exciting sail across the bay.

Once the boats had been enjoyed, the students returned to the workshops on Monmouth Beach where they received their Level 3 City & Guilds certificates.

Principal,Yvonne Green, congratulated the class on their achievements and wished them well as they start their new lives as boat builders.

Dave Young from PodFilms caught footage of the launch from the safety boat (kindly provided by Rob Perry Marine). The Academy is delighted with the new film showing workshop and launch shots, which can be viewed on the homepage of their website.

Photographic build diaries of each boat can be viewed here.

  • PS – My pal Pete Bromwich attended the BBA’s 12 week course in woodworking skills recently, during which he made a hammered dulcimer.  Here are some photos of the project.

BBA students build and launch Fleet Trow

Every spring and autumn, the Boat Building Academy folks send over some photos and a few words about their student’s  launches.

The shots above were taken by Jenny Steer and Derek Thompson, so my thanks to them and to the Academy.

Here’s what they have to say about the first boat launched at the BBA launch on the 3rd December last year:

‘A crowd of about three hundred people braved the cold to celebrate with the class of March 2014 at their student boat launch.

‘The sun shone as four boats, each built as part of the students’ intensive 38 week training, were launched into Lyme Regis Harbour for the first time.

‘Mayor of Lyme Regis Sally Holman and Academy Director Tim Gedge said a few words congratulating the group on their achievements.  Then the champagne corks popped as each boat launched.

‘Eleven students joined the Academy’s level 3 course boat building, maintenance and support’ course last March. Of all ages, some were local but others came from places as far away as Brazil and America.

‘The first to be launched launch was The Lost Tribe, a 12ft glued clinker Fleet trow.

‘Planked in marine ply, the Trow has a khaya stem with bright finished sapele thwarts and trim.

Trows are used on the Fleet, a lagoon located behind Chesil Beach in West Dorset, to transport mackerel caught off the beach across to the mainland, and for wildfowling.

‘The Lost Tribe is based on a 1970s example featured in the book Working Boats of Britain – Their Shape and Purpose by Eric McKee.

‘One of the builders, Nigel Chapman, worked as an engineer on the National Grid for 29 years before joining the Academy.?Spending time with friends who worked as boat builders – and seeing them enjoy the work they did – made Nigel want to develop his carpentry skills and train to become a boat builder too.

‘Nigel’s main partner in the build, Fred Faro, came to the Academy from Brazil, where he worked as field engineer and manager on heavy infrastructure projects. ?With a love for the sea and a desire to work with his hands using practical skills, he decided that becoming a boat builder would combine the two.

‘When Nigel was taken ill part way through the course, Fred and other members of the group completed the build.  On the day, Fred and Nigel’s wife Alison together launched The Lost Tribe.  We all wish Nigel a speedy recovery and look forward to him joining us again when he’s fit.  Fred is now at Palma Mallorca, working for Classic Yacht Shipwrights and Joiners.

For photos of The Lost Tribe’s build, see the Boat Building Academy’s website here.

PS – Here’s a real bonus. The good people at the BBA have agreed to make the offsets for the 12ft Fleet trow available via Intheboatshed.net.  Click on the drawing for the pdf.

offsets Fleet trow


BBA December 2014 student launch photos

The Boat Building Academy’s class of March 2014 launched the boats built as part of their course under brilliant blue skies on 3 December. Here’s principal Yvonne Green’s report:

‘Two hundred people including Lyme Regis mayor Sally Holman gathered to celebrate the end of the course.

‘The eleven students came to the BBA from places as far apart as Brazil, America and Bridport, just 9 miles down the road from Lyme.

‘For the first time a father and son, Laurence and Will Shillingford, were on the course at the same time. Will is off to work at Michael Dennett’s in Chertsey, where he will join 2013 intake graduate Adam Smith, while Laurence returns to Bridport, with a 21ft Thames skiff based on a drawing in the book Working Boats of Britain by Eric McKee.

‘The François Vivier-designed 14ft Beg Meil gaff-rigged dinghy made a festive splash of red, crew dressed in homage to the designer.

‘Instructor Mike Broome designed the 14ft outboard-powered runabout.

‘Sadly a strip-planked Alden O Class sloop was unfinished and stayed in the workshop; in order to launch her the students would have made a rush job of finishing, which would have been a sin.

‘But she’s still going to attract a lot of attention once she’s finished.

‘Last but not least is The Lost Tribe. A 12ft glued clinker Fleet Trow. Builder and owner Nigel Chapman plans to use her for fishing, but was taken seriously ill half way through the course. The Trow was finished, but fortunately Nigel is recovering and we look forward to him rejoining us when he’s fit enough.

‘After the certificate awards the students danced until 10pm at the Power Boat Club on the beach opposite the Academy.

‘They’ve thrown down the gauntlet to their friends in the class of September 2014, who move down onto the main workshop floor after Christmas.’