BBA students build 12ft Paul Gartside traditional style clinker dinghy

The Boat Building Academy celebrated the launch of six boats and seventeen new boat builders at Lyme a few weeks ago.

The boats were built by the BBA’s class of September 2013, who had completed its 38-week course. Although new to woodworking and boat building, the students built six boats and a paddle board using modern and traditional methods, completing every step from lofting board to launch in just nine months.

Some three hundred well-wishers gathered in the sunshine to celebrate the students’ achievements and give a resounding cheer as the champagne popped and each boat went into the water.

First in was the 12ft traditional clinker dinghy above, built by David Rainbow and Adam Smith to Paul Gartside’s 2001 design, #130 design, and planked in west African mahogany on oak ribs and backbone. (The photos are by Liz Griffiths, Becky Joseph, Jenny Steer, and John Pritchard.)

David, from Middlesex, worked at Heathrow Airport for 20 years in a variety of roles, most recently as baggage operational assurance manager, and first came to the BBA to do a three-day introductory course, and then decided it was time for a change of career and booked a place on the 38-week course last year.

David chose to build this row and sail boat as he felt the traditional clinker method would make a good test of skills, and felt the style and size of this particular Paul Gartside design was just right for him.

He made a couple of changes to the original design – he planked it in West African mahogany rather than western red cedar for aesthetic reasons, and chose a boomless standing lug rig designed by Paul Gartside specifically for David’s boat, rather than the original boomed rig.

Named Enfys – the Welsh word for ‘rainbow’ after David’s surname and his wife’s welsh roots – the boat is to be sailed on a lake at Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre, which is close to where David lives.

Adam Smith, originally from Canada, was David’s main build partner.

He was working with computers, but built a Selway Fisher dinghy in his spare time and enjoyed the process so much he decided to train for a new career. Adam made the most of the academy’s facilities and in his spare time on the course he made a cabinet, trestle table and chest. His latest spare-time project now that the course has finished is a strip-planked canoe.

Both David and Adam are start work in jobs on the Thames after a short break.

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Teignmouth and Shaldon Museum opens Morgan Giles exhibition ‘Launched in Teignmouth’

Morgan-Giles exhibition at Teign and Shaldon Museum 1 Morgan-Giles exhibition at Teign and Shaldon Museum 2

A special exhibition at the Teign Heritage Centre is celebrating the people and work of the Morgan Giles shipyard from 1921 to 1968.

The exhibition will be held at the Teign Heritage Centre from Friday 8th March to Friday 5th April 10am to 4.30pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays.

On display will be some Morgan Giles plans including some from pre-1914 days, racing yachts in the ‘20s and‘30s, and luxury motor cruisers of the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Other items will be specialist craftsmen’s tools, archive photographs, models and oral histories. There will be a featured display about the Lady Cable built in 1923, and other important boats, such as the Hispania yacht built for the King of Spain.

On Saturday 23rd March at 11am there will also be a free talk about the Lady Cable from Lyn Yeoman of the Lady Cable Trust. The Lady Cable is a pleasure boat that went to Dunkirk and was apparently the last small boat to leave the beaches.

Morgan Giles were internationally famous for the elegant design of their boats and very high quality of workmanship, having employed highly skilled craftsmen, shipwrights, engineers, joiners and riggers, many of whom are remembered in Teignmouth today.

For visitor details please see the Teign Heritage website www.teignheritage.org.uk or phone 01626 777041.

I’m grateful to the Boat Building Academy folks for letting me know this was going on. Never ones to miss an opportunity (good for them) they added that BBA student Benjamin Charny is currently building a Morgan Giles-designed clinker-built dinghy – there’s a photographic record of the boat going together here.

Benjamin’s project was recently mentioned by a piece in the Western Morning News: ‘In another corner Benjamin was making a tiny rowing boat: ”It’s eight foot long and I have taken it from a West country design by Morgan Giles. He built the original in the 1930s for his kids and I got the lines from the Falmouth Maritime Museum.

”This will be the only copy around. I have loved doing it.”

Stirling and Son deliver two very different 12ft rowing dinghies, and repair a hogged Tideway

 

Lead On (first photo) is a new pilot’s punt built for for Kindly Light, a Bristol Channel pilot cutter, was completed by Stirling and Son and delivered to her owner during March.

She was built to the owners specification’s following his extensive research into the pilot cutters‘ boats.

Here’s what Will has to say about her:

‘She is built to both tow well in a seaway and also to scull well, and has very flat floors midships to provide stability, a little hollow in the bow under the waterline so that she cleaves the water with full sections above the waterline to give her good reserve buoyancy forward. Aft, she has a shapely transom above the waterline to reduce drag to a minimum.

‘In an initial tests in Carrick Roads, when a 12-stone man stood on her gunwale only 6in of freeboard showed above the water.’

That stable shape is very clear in the photo.

The second shot above shows another new 12ft rowing dinghy that left the yard at the end of March. Destined for a lake in Sussex, this is a much finer boat for rowing on lakes and rivers, and is varnished with gold leaf scrollwork and cove line. Will remarks that it’s interesting that two 12ft rowing dinghies of similar beam can be so different.

A third 12ft dinghy – a Tideway general purpose sailing dinghy – came into the Stirlings yard for repairs recently. New sidedecks and foredeck were fitted, underwater repairs were carried out and the boat was completely refinished.

Will’s remarks about this boat include a useful little warning for owners of timber-built dinghies:

‘This Tideway had generally stood the test of time well but, like another dinghy we repaired earlier in the year, most of the damage requiring attention had been done by the trailer where she had sagged aft of the last trailer roller.

‘A good piece of money-saving advice for traditional dinghy owners who keep their boats on a trailer for long periods is to put some supporting blocks under the transom – it is better to risk causing a little extra rocker than have the boat hog.’

Thanks Will! Stirling and Son offers traditional yacht building and wooden boat repair, and is based at Tavistock, in Devon.