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.