Photos by Derek Thompson and Emma Brice
Two students at the Boat Building Academy have built and launched this remarkable skimming dish designed by Charles Sibbick.
The story began in 2006 when after a 30-year career in sports magazine publishing Isle of Wight-based Martin Nott decided he needed a new challenge and restored a 1902-built boat Sibbick boat, Witch.
When he became the proud owner of the, he enrolled on the Academy’s one-week boat restoration course to gain more knowledge and skills relating to the construction of traditional boats.
He then became increasingly fascinated by wooden boats and joined the Boat Building Academy in September 2010 to start the 38-week boat building course during which he was able to build another Sibbick design, Diamond, a 6.5m fin-and-bulb keel carvel-built skimming-dish half rater dating from 1897. He worked from an old set of lines and from photos.
Alistair Munro, who helped Martin build Diamond, was previously managing director of an advertising agency. The boat building course was the start of a major career change.
A mixture of traditional and modern construction methods were used in building Diamond: she has a red cedar strip-planked hull with a yellow cedar deck and mahogany coamings. She is partially decked, has a cockpit and is fitted with a traditional lug rig, and bronze fittings, many of them custom-made. See Martin’s weblog of the build.
Diamond is now on the Isle of Wight, where Martin plans to race her, and to build a 30ft Sibbick Rater. He is currently working one day a week for Classic Boat and Yachts & Yachting, while looking for work as a shipwright or boat builder.