An invitation – the Boat Building Academy student boat launch 2 December

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If anyone is going and fancies penning a shortish report and sending over some photos, I would be most grateful!

For a kind of preview, see the BBA students’ current  projects in build.

Boat Building Academy and National Maritime Museum Cornwall launch short courses at Falmouth

Ropework course

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall and the Boat Building Academy have teamed up to run a series of short three- and five-day courses at the Falmouth museum’s premises.

The first weekend course, ‘Make a fender – decorative ropework and splicing’, with BBA visiting instructor Roy Gollop on 30 and 31 March will teach decorative ropework and splicing, and participants will make a fender to take away.

Roy began his marine career as an apprentice boat builder in 1946 before enlisting in the Royal Marines, where he was responsible first for landing craft operations before becoming senior instructor of seamanship.

He returned to Lyme Regis and managed the family fishing business for several years until he reopened his  toolbox and began building clinker dinghies and working boats for local people.

BBA  principal Yvonne Green says that running short courses at the NMMC gives the Academy the opportunity to offer short practical workshops outside the limited space available at its Lyme Regis premises.

  • hand tool sharpening and timber preparation 4th-5th May
  • basic joints 11th-12th May
  • dovetails 18th-19th May
  • wooden boat restoration 17-21 June
  • bending wood 22-23 June
  • half model making 29th-30th June
  • replace and scarf a plank 6th-7th July
  • repair a ply dinghy 3rd-4th August
  • ‘Knees up’ with Gail McGarva (shape a knee for a 12ft clinker sailing dinghy and have it fitted to a boat) 17th-18th August
  • basic woodworking skills continued 30th September – 4th October
  • oar making 2nd-3rd November

More information is in the programme: BBA courses at the NMMC 2013.

Also new from the BBA is a timber supply and machining service that will also cut timber brought in by customers.

Timber generally in stock includes sapele (25mm, 32mm and 50mm), American white oak (25mm and 50mm), European oak (25mm, 32mm and 50mm), Western red cedar (25mm and 50mm), Douglas fir (25mm, 32mm and 50mm), Far Eastern ply (4mm, 6mm, 9mm, 12mm and 18mm), Robbins Elite ply (6mm).

Machining of strip planking (with bead and cove) at 6mm and 9mm thickness is also available. Contact the BBA on 01297 445545 or email

Sawn timber

BBA invites readers to student launch

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Boat Building Academy student launch day invitation

Student launch invitation, showing a Pettersson motor launch made by student Lars Herfeldt and launched last December

The Boat Building Academy down at Lyme is inviting readers to attend its big student launch on the 9th December. The event starts from around 8am, with the boats going in the water at around 9.30am.

It will be possible for visitors to see the Academy premises, so long as they don’t get in the students’ way.

Some 18 students are launching boats, and the photos below show the current state of some of them. It looks like very nice work, but there’s still some way to go. Will they make it? I’m sure they will. I won’t be able to make it myself, so if any readers take their cameras, I would be grateful for photos I can publish please!

Click here for the BBA’s short course prospectus for 2011 – in addition to the established offerings, it is offering Colin Henwood of Henwood and Dean instructing a five-day course on renovation and finishing, a two-dayer on rope work and wire splicing, and a three- or five-day half-model making course, the length of which depends on whether you want to make a standard model or one of your own choice.

Last year’s course on building a West Greenland kayak is back, and there’s a new introduction to woodworking skills course, which might reasonably be described woodworking for the petrified.

Wooden boat building in progress at the Boat Building Academy Wooden boat building in progress at the Boat Building Academy Wooden boat building in progress at the Boat Building Academy

Wooden boat building in progress at the Boat Building Academy Wooden boat building in progress at the Boat Building Academy Wooden boat building in progress at the Boat Building Academy