The next BBA student launch day is on the 7th December – and you’re all invited!

Boat Building Academy student launch December 2011 invitation readers (and everyone else, to be honest!) are warmly invited to the Boat Building Academy’s class of March 2011 student launch at 2pm on the 7th December.

The boats include:

  • 13ft cold-moulded motor launch designed by Andrew Wolstenholme
  • 17ft clinker-built pilchard larker
  • 10ft foam-sandwich composite dinghy
  • 19ft epoxy-ply Caledonian Yawl (designed by Iain Oughtred)
  • 15ft West Greenland kayak
  • 14ft strip planked ‘Cassy’ canoe yawl (designed by George Holmes)
  • 14ft 1in strip-planked catboat
  • 14ft stitch and glue-built speedboat (designed by BBA instructor Mike Broome)
For building photos of these boats, click here.

See more photos from last year’s December launch:

Star Yachts’ strip built 22ft cabin motor launch

Official launch of Star Yachts Bristol 27 Morgana

Official launch of Star Yachts Bristol 27 Morgana Official launch of Star Yachts Bristol 27 Morgana Official launch of Star Yachts Bristol 27 Morgana

Official launch of Star Yachts Bristol 27 Morgana Official launch of Star Yachts Bristol 27 Morgana


Win Cnoops of Star Yachts sent over these photos of the official launch of the Andrew Wolstenholme-designed Bristol 22 strip-built cabin motor launch his company is offering these days.

I think it’s a pretty thing and I hope it catches on – it’s not exactly old fashioned, but has some old fashioned ideas about it that make a handsome craft that serves to show how strange, angular and droopy-nosed motor boat design has become.

Among other things, it would make a very appropriate committee boat for an up-market yacht club looking for a bit of class rather than the usual plastic club-tub.

Combining features of a 1920s gentleman’s launch and a more sturdy harbour launch, the Bristol 22 has a narrow, easily-driven hull that requires needing only a relatively small engine – so much so that on a river or canal an all-electric version is practical. The layout of the boat provides for overnight or short holiday accommodation in the forward cuddy.

If you’re a Facebooker, why not ‘like’ the new Star Yachts Facebook page, where you’ll be able to follow the building of the 27ft version?

Andrew Wolstenholme cold moulded electric motor launch built by BBA students

James Bird - Dick Stiles Electric Motor Launch (61)

Emma Brice Dick Stiles Electric Motor Launch Derek Thompson Dick Stiles and his Electric Motor Launch Emma Brice Dick Stiles Electric Motor Launch

Photos by James Bird, Emma Brice, Derek Thompson and Emma Brice – my thanks to all of you for permission to use these shots

Dick Stiles’ silent Andrew Wolstenholme-designed 13ft 6in electric motor launch was the cold moulded boat built by the March 2010 group, says BBA staffer Emma Brice – each 38-week Boat Building Academy course at Lyme aims to have a range of boat construction methods in the workshop.

Dick wanted to avoid a traditional build on this occasion because the boat, which he has names Bia 2, will be out of the water for long periods of time.

The hull is laminated mahogany with mahogany thwarts and seating, sapele decks, and oak detail for contrast on the covering boards. Dick used Douglas fir as a contrast for the sole boards and Emma says he did an exceptional job with the matchboarded veneer bulkhead.

A boat built to the same design was also built as part of student Phil Evans’ course in 2009.

In building Bia 2, Dick added a curved transom, modified the central thwart to house the battery – it has a hinged lid for access – and included a rear seat that conceals the converter and provides a water tight storage area and buoyancy.

Dick, who has dual New Zealand and British nationality, joined the course after thirty years in the oil and gas industries. He has now headed back to his home in Australia to set up a boat building workshop alongside his house there, in which he is to be helped by wife Maria who has herself completed the BBA’s eight-week woodworking skills course.

One of Dick’s main co-workers on the build was Ross Doherty, also from Australia, a project manager in commercial construction. Ross is now in India with his wife Lis to relax after a very busy nine months. On return they are hoping to settle down in the UK and begin a new career in boat building and begin family life, as they’re expecting their first baby.

The BBA website has a series of photos of the electric motor launch build, which strongly remind me of the early days of this boat building technique.