Catboats en Ballade

Cruising in a small catboat… One of the keywords is ‘Atkin’, so I’d guess the boat was a design of William Atkin’s – possibly Turnover (17ft in length) or Speculation (18ft), but I’d say Cupid was the most likely. Either way, it’s a delicious piece of film…

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Boat Building Academy students build a small South Bay catboat

  Michael Tyler's Catboat 'Lucie' designed by Mike Broome. Photo by Emma Brice

Boat Building Academy students Mike Tyler, Jon Bicknell and Andy Blundy built this strip-built South Bay-style catboat to a design worked up by the students with the help of instructor Mike Broome.

Local lad Mike – he commuted to Lyme from Sidmouth each day of the course – worked in banking before coming to the BBA. However, he seems to be a man of many interests: previously he had studied sculpture at art college, where he frequently worked with driftwood, and dreamed of becoming a boat builder.

Mike particularly wished to build an ‘original’ design with a sculptural form, and was inspired by the Victorian half rater built by another BBA student, Martin Nott. Mike then came across the 21ft Gilbert Smith design Lucile that was then redesigned to a manageable size with instructor Mike Broome’s help – and the result was the 14ft Lucie.

Mike Tyler is now at Pangbourne, Reading, and involved in setting up the new Beale Park Maritime Museum.

Jon comes from a background in information technology design and Jon worked predominantly with Mike on Lucie – although did spend an hour here and there on other builds. Having finished the course is now busy finding his feet in the boat building industry.

I gather Andy, who was previously a floor layer, was a little less involved – but was an asset to everyone at the Academy, always cheery and ready to help. Like the other students not building their own boats, he circulated around the boat builds to gain a thorough knowledge on as many construction types as possible.

BBA December 2011 student launch – first two photos

Michael Tyler’s catboat 'Lucie' at the BBA student launch December 2011 David Campbell (waving) in his Caledonian Yawl at the BBA student launch 7th December

The Boat Building Academy staffer Emma Brice has kindly sent over a couple of photos she took at this year’s somewhat wintry-looking student launch. I hope it wasn’t too cold down at Lyme!

The catboat above left was built by Michael Tyler; the Caledonian Yawl above right was built by David Campbell.

I gather the Academy’s tutors were particularly pleased to finally launch Gary Thompson’s Haven 12 ½ built during the September 2010 course – it couldn’t be launched in June because of strong winds.

Thanks Emma!