BBA students build 15ft strip-planked Ted Moores-designed canoe

Photograph by Rebecca Joseph

Photograph by Rebecca Joseph (2) Photograph by Rebecca Joseph (3) Photograph by Rebecca Joseph (4)

Photograph by Emma Brice Photograph by Emma Brice (3)

Boat Building Academy student Ryan Gostick built this 15ft strip-planked Ranger canoe with help from fellow student Don Smith.

I gather Ryan stuck closely to the original Ranger design from Ted Moores’ book Canoe Craft, and used western red cedar strip planking, and American cherry inwales and gunwales – and his own hand-made canework seats.

Before starting at the BBA, Ryan worked and travelled for 10 years building big tops and structures for theatres and concerts.

After spending some time using canoes in Canada, Ryan dreamed of one day of owning his own canoe, and after restoring a small fibreglass boat he developed an interest in boat building.

When he joined the course the opportunity to build his own canoe as part of his boat building training was too good to miss.

Ryan, who has now returned to Oxford, has named his craft Néla after his friend’s daughter. He’s very proud and happy with the boat and plans to keep the canoe and to enjoy her with family and friends.

His goal now is to combine his new skills and love for travel by working as a boat builder in either Australia or New Zealand.

Former green keeper Don studied English, film, psychology and environmental science at college, but instead of going to university, chose to look for a more practical course and went to the BBA instead, after finding out about it on the Internet.

Since graduating, Don has been working for Beautiful World Tents at Horsham, West Sussex, where he makes giant hat kata tipis, yurts and Native American tipis.

There’s a photo log of Néla’s build on the BBA website.

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