BBA students build an Iain Oughtred Acorn Skiff

Boat Building Academy students Jonathan Howard and Tom Moran have built and launched an Iain Oughtred-designed Acorn Skiff. The photos are by Jenny Steer and Becky Brown.

Some 13ft in length, she is planked in 6mm gaboon-faced marine ply, using glued-clinker construction. The skiff has a laminated khaya stem and apron, and her hog, keel and pretty wineglass transom are sapele.

Jonathan works for the BBC and has done so for the past 30 years. He first came to the BBA in 2009 for the eight-week woodworking skills course it then offered and designed and built a beautiful oak chest and took great interest in the 38 week course…  (The eight-week course has been replaced by a 12 week course)

Five years later, Jonathan came back, and chose the Acorn Skiff for its light weight and elegant design. Her glued clinker construction will be simple to maintain and she’ll be easy to transport.

Tom enjoyed working on each of the boat projects built by the class but particularly enjoyed the detailed and delicate woodworking involved with the Acorn Skiff and the planking of the larger Nordlands boat (report to come).

Tom has a BSc in applied geology and before coming to the academy worked as an exploration geologist in Zambia and Australia, analysing extracted coal, copper and gold.

Tom came to the academy as a way of starting a new career as a boat builder, and soon after graduating, started work at Stirling & Son.

Jonathan has now returned to work at the BBC and will use his increased skills in his spare time to make furniture.

He decided to name his new dinghy Dash of Lyme, to reflect where she was built, and his time on the course which he says dashed by. She will be rowed and sailed on the Thames and during holidays in the West Highlands.

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