The Boat Building Academy builds a gig for the new Lyme Regis Gig Club

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Photos of the new pilot gig Rebel, built at the Boat Building Academy –
in the first Gail McGarva sits under the boat she project-managed.
As usual, click on the thumbnails for much larger photos

Lyme Regis’s well known Boat Building Academy agreed to build a pilot gig for the newly formed Lyme Regis Gig Club just over a year ago. It doesn’t normally undertake commercial work but this was a commission the Academy couldn’t refuse, according to principal Yvonne Green.

Former student and British Marine Federation Trainee of the Year 2005 turned instructor Gail McGarva project-managed the build and involved as many students and members of the local community as possible, including evening classes for members of the gig club to make their own oars – all of the school contributed even down to knocking in a rivet.

The students were not involved on a day to day basis as they were busy with their own boats but because the gig was in the main workshops it seems to have made a useful teaching aid, and Yvonne reports that the gig was launched on the 29th June with due ceremony. The mayor, the vicar, the town crier, students and the town all came, blessings were read, salt was strewn and the gig was rowed successfully across Lyme Regis’s sizeable bay.

‘The pilot gig measurers said it was one of the best gigs they had seen,’ she adds with pride.

Lyme Regis Gig Club named the new boat Rebel after the Duke of Monmouth, who started his 17th-century rebellion against the Crown on Monmouth beach, where the Boat Building Academy now stands.

Follow the link for more on the Boat Building Academy.

The Telegraph newspaper recently published a long feature on the Academy. I’m envious by the way – I wish people would commission me to write pieces like that!

For more intheboatshed.net posts including material about pilot gigs, click here.

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