BBA students launch a strip-planked Andrew Wolstenholme Mallard dinghy

Boat Building Academy student Tim Harrison launched this 12ft Andrew Wolstenholme Mallard dinghy at the annual early summer student launch. The photos are by Becky Brown, Paul Dyer and Jenny Steer.

I gather the Mallard was originally designed for the Boatman magazine.

Tim, an experienced sailor and ex-merchant seaman, wanted to use a modern construction method and chose to strip plank the dinghy in western red cedar, sheathed inside and out with glass fibre and epoxy. She has a laminated khaya stem, sapele hog and keel, and mahogany transom. She is painted inside and out with bright finished thwarts and trim.

The boat was lofted, as are all boats built, as part of the course, and the moulds were CNC cut by the Architectural Association at Hooke Park using CAD files supplied by Andrew.

Tim chose a cat-rig for ease of use, to free up hull space and for its pretty appearance. The boat has a pivoting centreboard.

The dinghy’s sail was made by the class as part of a four-day sail-making short course at the Academy taught by Jeremy White of Elvstrøm Sails.

Students work on all of the builds, but BBA staff say Peter Holyoake particularly enjoyed his time working on the Mallard.  Peter came to the BBA from the Isle of Wight, where he worked for a major logistics company for 25 years as a programme manager.

However, after reading an article about the academy in Coast magazine he had what he calls a ‘lightbulb’ moment and decided it was time for a change.

The course inspired him to learn some other skills – at Lyme Regis he took time out to train as a barista at a local independent coffee house, and learnt how to prepare fish and shellfish at a fishmongers near the Cobb – Lyme’s historic harbour wall.

If anyone ever fancies a mackerel cappuccino, Peter says he’s your man… [I’ll pass on that, Ed]

Tim chose to name his Mallard dinghy ‘Tucana’ – Tupi for ‘Toucan’. Tim’s daughter is an amateur artist concentrating on birds, and the Victorian bird illustrator John Gould was born in Lyme Regis.

A traditional sign writer painted the name on the boat, together with a bright image of a toucan on the dinghy’s transom.

Tim plans to enjoy Tucana with family and friends in East Anglia and the West Country, and Peter plans to start a new career in the marine industry.

See the Mallard’s build diary here.

Simon Papendick starts building an Andrew Wolstenholme dinghy

Mai-Star dinghy

Mai-Star dinghy 2 Mai-Star dinghy 3

Here’s one to follow: now equipped with a new apprentice, Essex boat builder Simon Papendick is starting work on a new clinker-built dinghy for use as a tender – a shortened 3.1m version of boat designer Andrew Wolstenholme’s Coot in larch and with oak ribs.

I get the feeling that Simon hopes to make more of these in future.

Simon’s logging the whole thing at his new weblog The new dinghy build (Mai-Star).


BBA students build a Wolstenholme-designed motor launch

Wolstenholme motor launch 3 photo A Blundy

Wolstenholme motor launch 4 photo A Blundy Wolstenholme motor launch 2 photo A Blundy Wolstenholme motor launch 1 photo A Blundy

Boat Building Academy students Phil Ambler and Mark Ashman built a cold-moulded Andrew Wolstenholme-designed open motor launch, which first went into the water at the December student launch day.

The original design was altered only slightly by fitting a 10hp Nanni diesel engine rather than electric motor specified by the designer, and this meant the design of the boat had to be changed slightly. However, the photos show the boat’s interior still has an open, spacey sort of feel.

Phil came to the academy as a student following a lifetime of sailing and a career as a GP in Oxfordshire. He first visited the academy in 2006 when his son was thinking of joining the long course, but after his son decided instead to go to university and retirement came close, Phil came to feeling that he would himself enjoy the BBA’s 38-week course.

Phil and his wife are now trying to decide where they will settle down, but his requirements for a new house now include a big workshop…

Mark, who was Phil’s main partner during the build of the motor launch, worked in the pub industry for 13 years before attending at the BBA. In his case, Mark found out about the academy when his partner, a teacher, visited a student who was on work experience at Lyme. Mark then decided on a dramatic change in lifestyle: he sold the pub at Sherborne and relocate to the Dorset coast to start a new career.