Tag Archives: student launch

Boat Building Academy summer student launch 10th June


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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.

BBA student launch December 2013 – catch up with the ITV News report

BBA December student launch covered by ITV

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.

BBA student builds a Ted Moores stripper canoe



Becky Joseph June 2013 (67)


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.

BBA students launch an 18ft Paul Gartside-designed cutter

Photograph by Emma Brice

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Photograph by Andy Blundy (44) SONY DSC

Photos by Andy Blundy, Charlie Couture and Emma Brice

This 18ft Paul Gartside-designed strip-planked cutter belonging to Boat Building Academy student Dominik Gschwind hit the water at the BBA’s student launch just before Christmas.

The boat is in Western red cedar, fitted out in Douglas fir and with its cabin and other parts finished bright.

Dominik, who is Swiss, chose the boat as a result of his passion for craft inspired by working boat, and modified the original open design by created a small cabin, complete with portholes and a neatly fitted heads – it’s said that this is the first boat to be built at the BBA with either of these features.

Named Gloéy – the name is Dominik’s daughter’s middle name – the boat will be used by for day sailing and cruising on his own and with his family.

To be moored on Lake Constance, which is bordered by Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Gloéy will also be used as a reference project for Dominik’s business, showcasing his new skills to prospective clients.

Dominik, who for the past seven years, has run his own architecture practice in Zurich, enrolled on the Academy’s 38-week training course with the aim of expanding his current business by combining his passion for boats and their construction with his architectural expertise.

Ivan Cavé was Dominik’s main partner in building the boat, and worked closely with him for long hours through the five month build.

Ivan grew up in South Africa but has lived in Australia for most of his life. His first significant boating experience was in 1978 when he joined the crew of Alvee, a John Alden schooner in Malta.

Ivan met wife Jacky after hitching a ride on a 40ft steel cutter from South Africa to Sydney, and consequently took Australian citizenship in 1980. Ivan joined the Academy after retiring from his job as a sales sdministrator, and aims to start a new career in Australia working as a boat builder.

Jacky will be missed at the BBA, she took full part in activities at the school and in Lyme Regis, including one night when she set up an impromptu bar in the workshops to celebrate the mast being completed. Alcohol is of course forbidden in the workshops for safety reasons…

Ivan and Jacky bought a motor home and are now driving round Europe and were last heard of in St Malo, no doubt bringing warmth and friendship wherever they park.

There’s a photographic diary of the build of Gloéy on the BBA website, and Dominik also kept a written online diary.

As always, my thanks to the BBA staff for providing information and photos.

BBA students launch their boats on the 5th December – and you are invited


Readers are invited to join Boat Building Academy students and staff at 10am on the 5th December to see this year’s class of 18 students who have completed the 38-week course launch their boats into the water at Lyme Regis Harbour.

It will be a morning to remember, as the students launch their boats, and in many cases mark the beginning of what we all hope will be successful careers in boat building.

To see the boats going together and to find out more about the students as the big day looms, click here.

To get a taste of the event, there are some photos of the BBA’s last student launch day here.

BBA student class of September 2011 launch their boats despite wind and rain

Principal Yvonne Green has kindly sent over this photo from the latest Boat Building Academy student launch day, at which the rain clearly failed to stop play.

Here’s what she says:

‘It rained, and rained, and rained, and then at 2.30 it stopped and, while the sun didn’t exactly come out, it wasn’t wet and it wasn’t cold. It was still a bit breezy, but I don’t think people would have noticed a downpour once the boats started going into the water.

‘It was a brilliant day, and they have been a brilliant group.’

The photo show the view from Yvonne’s office window just before the boats went down to the Cobb – that’s the local name for the massively built and ancient westward wall of Lyme Harbour, and the FaceBook video link shows a Looe hire boat restored by BBA students being overtaken by instructor Justin Adkin and student Shane Newcombe riding on board Shane’s Tiny Might built to plans provided by Glen L, and fitted with an engine from a jetski.

Tiny Might video

The BBA student summer launch: you are invited!

Take a look at the boats to be launched by this year’s BBA students: