A happy career change from NHS manager to traditional boatbuilder

Marc Chivers pilot punt 4

Remember Marc Chivers, who built this handsome 13ft pilot punt during his time at the Boat Building Academy? (For more on the pilot punt, click here.)

He’s now working for Ashley Butler down at Dartmouth and is very happy with his new life, according to an interview he has given to Careershifters.org. At Butler & Co, he’s currently working on Pilgrim, an 1895 Brixham sailing trawler.

Before coming to boat building Marc had been carving a career working in the NHS for a primary care trust, a role he found ‘frustrating, soul destroying and generally unfulfilling’.

(Of course, under our new government, if he was still working for a PCT he’d now be facing redundancy.)

He told Careershifters that making the change was easy: he split-up from his ex-wife, resigned from his job and enrolled on the boat building course with the Boat Building Academy. I suppose it sounds easy if you say it quickly.

From the quotes online, there’s no question Marc is a happier man however: ‘I love my new life and I love working in the boat yard helping to build and restore wooden boats is wonderful,’ he told the website. ‘The guys I work with are great and they all are more than happy to share and impart their skills.’

He also added that the work itself is very hard  physically as it involves big lumps of wood and working outdoors in all weathers. I can believe it. One of the enduring underlying themes of this weblog is that there’s something special and admirable about those who build and maintain traditional boats – they’re definitely made of sterner stuff than most of us.

Marc’s weblog reveals more about his new life: click here.

PS – Do check out the Butler & Co weblog – they found WWII bullets in one of the timbers!



Marc Chivers and helpers build a 13ft clinker pilot punt

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Once again, Boat Building Academy principal Yvonne Green has sent us some more photos from the big student launch day at Lyme in December. Thanks Yvonne!

Marc Chivers was a manager with the NHS before he decided to change his life.

At the Boat Building Academy he built a 13ft traditional clinker pilot punt in larch on oak with a grown crook for a stem. She’s fastened with non-ferrous fastenings and bedded in a traditional manner, and the the lines were taken from a work of historical reference by Malcolm Darch.

Marc’s main helpers on the build were Seb Evans, who now wants to design and build traditional craft for a livingt, and Kevin Marshall, who is now working for T Nielsen & Co at Gloucester Docks.

By the way – I’ve just seen a pdf file of the Academy’s prospectus for the coming year, and I must say it makes very interesting reading. Email Yvonne at office@boatbuildingacademy.com and I’m sure she’ll send you a copy.

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