The Boat Building Academy is inviting the world to its class of September 2013 student launch at Lyme Regis Harbour at 2pm on Tuesday 10 June.
The twice-yearly event has developed into quite a do – the event attracts friends and family of the students, BBA graduates now working in the marine industry, representatives from the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, the Imperial War Museum Duxford, and the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights
The students, who are of all ages, start often with little or no boat building experience, and graduate with the internationally recognised level 3 qualification required to start a career in the marine industry.
The latest fleet of student boats include a Paul Gartside traditional clinker dinghy, a pea green Selway Fisher Northumbrian Coble and a 20 foot Golant Ketch with twin masts and cabin.
The boats will process from the workshop to the slipway, marshalled by local boat builder and long-time friend of the BBA, Roy Gollop, who will don his foreman’s bowler hat for the occasion.
Lyme Regis Mayor, Sally Holman, will say a few words, as will BBA director Tim Gedge, and the boats will then be launched one by one for the first time. Champagne corks will pop whatever the weather.
For more details about the students who are the Class of September 2013 and for a preview of the boats there are profiles and photographic diaries on the Academy’s website.
The Boat Building Academy’s December student launch seems to have gone off beautifully – ITV News was there to cover the story, and principal Yvonne Green reported 200 people turned up at Lyme Harbour to watch, the weather was stunning, the general mood benevolent, and the students jubilant.
‘There was only just enough wind for the sailing boats, but Brian Reford’s speed boat (see the Intheboatshed.net post annoucing the event) went like the clappers across the bay.
‘The speedboat was the last to be launched, and as it left the harbour the other boats gracefully fell into line and followed. Someone said: “Blimey, that must have taken a bit of organising,” but it was a moment of synchronicity.
‘All in all it was a stunning day and utterly deserved by the students who have just grafted from early morning until late night since they started in March.’
For information, see the BBA website.
Photos by Jenny Steer and Becky Joseph
Boat Building Academy long course student Luke Browne chose to build this 17 1/2ft cedar-strip canoe designed by Ted Moores – the canoe appears in the book Canoecraft and was strip planked using western red cedar, sheathed in glass and epoxy, and fitted with rub-rails and breast hooks in black walnut. See
After finishing his schooling in the Cornwall town of Launceston, Luke spent time travelling in Australia and New Zealand before working as an architectural technician, in property renovation, and as a production operator.
Luke chose to do the BBA’s long boat building course because he felt that everything he was doing led to a dead-end and he wanted a career. He chose to build the canoe as his class project because he’s ‘not a sailor’ and liked the canoe project’s combination of traditional woodworking and modern fibreglass techniques.
I have to say that I very much approve of the paint job he’s done – strip-built canoes that are finished bright are just a little too obvious and blowzy, to my mind, but painting the hull white while leaving the black walnut bits bright seems much more tasteful, and rather more practical too.
Luke is now working at Spirit Yachts in Suffolk, where he will be working alongside fellow BBA Graduate Will Heward, who graduated in June 2012.
Photos of the build are on line here.