North Western coast of Scotlandboatbuilder Alasdair Grant’s recent build Lewenie has been launched.
She was built to his customer’s specification on a hull of Alasdair’s design, and the proprieter of Isle Ewe Boats is clearly very pleased. Here’s what he has to say:
‘Lewenie was launched a month early on Friday the 19th. All went well and she didn’t leak a drop – all she needed was a little fine tuning with some ballast.
‘She has a top speed of 7 knots but cruises along nicely at 6 knots with very little wake. She’s due to head south on a lorry on the 17th of July, which gives me plenty time to check her over and hopefully get her out in a gale to really see what she’s about in those conditions.
‘I emailed Steve (owner) on Friday night with a few photos and he replied “Superb , Can’t wait to get my hands on her”.’
Alasdair completed the long course at the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis in 2009 after building a Beer beach boat, and went on to work at Cockwells , repairing yachts and completing new builds.
He then moved back to Scotland to work in the Mallaig Boatyard repairing fishing boats, and is now back on his home island of to Isle Ewe, where he has set up a boat building business.
See the Isle Ewe Facebook page, and contact Alasdair at
Beer beach boat Steadfast at sea off North-West Scotland
Beer beach boat Steadfast on launch day
Another craft launched in July by Boat Building Academy students was a 16ft 5in Beer beach boat, built to lines taken from a boat on the beach at Beer, Devon, by one of the students, Alasdair Grant.
The youngest student in the Boat Building Academy’s Class of September 2009, Alasdair first contacted the academy when he was 14. Four years later at the end of his course he was given a special BBA award in recognition of his outstanding dedication and hard-work during the build of his aptly-named boat Steadfast.
The award was a brass plaque reading ‘Made in England’. Alasdair, it should be understood, is a proud Scot – so I hope he appreciated the well meant joke…
Alasdair is from a fishing family in Aultbea in the North West Scotland, and wanted to build a working boat. After seeing and taking the lines from the Beer beach boat, Alasdair brought some his own Scottish influence to the construction, including very heavy framing. He and another student building the boat, Jim Walsh, went on to include seven big frames in the build and the finishing touch, and Scottish-style tyres for fenders.
Steadfast is now being used by his family as their water taxi to and fro the Scottish mainland and the Isle of Ewe, and is said to have coped well in recent gales.
Since graduating in June, Alasdair has began work with Cockwells in Cornwall.
A classic work on the beach boats of Britain is this book: Beach Boats of Britain.
18 year-old Alasdair Grant launching his Beer beach boat; Tim Price, and Tom Trevessey and Lachlan McKenzie bringing Yachting World Dayboat Tailwind to the harbour; Dominic Frankis sails his Mallard dinghy while James Downs in the background celebrates in his Canadian canoe; Martin McMahon, Jim Walsh and BBA graduate and woman gig-builder Gail McGarva in waders with Martin’s Islay skiff
Back in early June June 2010 six full-sized boats built by students at the Boat Building Academy workshops were launched at Lyme Regis.
If that seems a long time ago, I apologise – I should explain that as a one-man band and I’ve had rather a lot to keep me busy lately!
The full-sized boats were joined by as surprise additional contender – a remote-controlled model of a Nordic Folkboat built in student Tim Price’s spare time.
Among the boats launched were a 14ft Yachting World Day Boat, a 12ft 5in Mallard sailing dinghy, a 16ft 5in Beer beach boat and a 14ft skiff with a polyester and glass hull, and a wooden fit-out. The sun shone, as usual – I really don’t know how the BBA does it.
Among the students were a management consultant, a builder, a product designer, an architectural technologist, a snowboarding instructor and a handful of school and university leavers.
The selection photos above come from BBA staffer Emma Brice, who has promised more of the individual boats over the next weeks. Thanks Emma!