A crowd of around two hundred people joined the Boat Building Academy’s class of March 2015 at their student boat launch at Lyme Regis harbour in December.
The first boat built by the students during their 38-week training, to be launched was an 18ft7in electric motor launch named Barbara Anne.
Designed by Robert Steward, Barbara Anne’s hull is cold moulded using three layers of marine plywood and one outer layer of mahogany veneers. The outer layer of veneers were laid fore and aft to simulate carvel planking which were later bright finished. She has a laminated mahogany stem, sapele backbone structure and has been fitted with a Marlin 5 single drive (5 KW/48V) electric inboard engine.
Commissioned by student Mark Turner and built by Mark and the class, she will be enjoyed on the Thames. For those unfamiliar with the Academy’s methods, a range of boats selected for their educational value are built as part of the course, and are owned by the student(s) who pay for the materials
Mark joined the Academy from Buckinghamshire, where he worked as a financial director and controller for 20 years. Enjoying sailing, rowing and diving, and keen to change to a more practical line of work, he decided to join the 38-week course to learn skills for a new career in the marine industry.
Mark originally planned to build a sailing dinghy as part of his training but on a visit to Thames wooden boat builders, Henwood and Dean he became inspired by the river motor launches he saw and so decided to build one for himself.
Mark came across lines drawings for Barbara Anne in a magazine found in the Academy’s collection. Apart from modifying the plans to include an aft deck and enclosed lockers, he chose to remain faithful to the original design.
Peter Tysall from Ilfracombe worked alongside Mark on the build as well as working on the each of the other three boats built by the class. Before coming to the BBA, Peter completed A-Levels in media studies, art and design, and English, and spent time working and travelling around Europe, Indonesia, Morocco, Jamaica, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
He loves to surf and sail and has worked aboard several different sailing yachts as a deckhand. Enjoying this work and wanting to learn further skills to start a career in the marine industry, Peter
decided to take a course at the Academy.
Mark has now returned home to Buckinghamshire where he will work as a boat builder on the Thames, and Peter is exploring options to combine his new skills with further travel.