Boat Building Academy students launch a traditional Norwegian faering

Back in December a bunch of proud Boat Building Academy class members launched a clinker built Norwegian faering built to Iain Oughtred’s Elfyn plans.

The boat was was built by student Neil Hammond and the rest of the class, including Ross Wheeler-Clayton.

Planked in Scottish larch on steamed green oak timbers, she has laminated oak stems, a solid oak keel, Douglas fir thwarts and centreboard case, and spruce spars.

She has two rowing positions and a balanced lug rig – her sails were made by the students as part of a sail making short course at the Academy.

Neil came to the Academy from Somerset: his previous career has ranged from rigging and drilling in both the Persian Gulf and North Sea for the oil industry, to managing and directing IT and engineering services for the MET Office.

With a love for water sports and the sea, Neil has RYA Yachtmaster qualifications and is a keen kayaker – and came to the BBA because he wanted to learn skills to build his own boat.

Ross, who worked closely alongside Neil, was at 18 one of the youngest members of the class. He joined the Academy straight after completing A-Levels in film, media, sociology, philosophy and ethics.

He is a young ambassador for the Meningitis Now charity and is a member of the Young Fire-fighters and MOD Combined Cadet Force.

With particular interests in traditional boat building skills, Ross thoroughly enjoyed constructing the Elfyn’s copper fastened traditional clinker hull.

See the Elfyn’s build diary here and for further details about the Level 3, 38-week boat building, maintenance and support course, click here.

BBA students build a small faering

The traditionally built faering named Pingvin, was built by Boat Building Academy students Max Stembridge and Ben Walker-Riley, and was designed by Max’s naval architect father Peter Stembridge, whose company, Seawing Europe, works with Sunseeker and similar.  The photos above are by Paul Dyer, Becky Brown and Jenny Steer.

The double-ended boat has laminated iroko stems and solid iroko hog and keel. She is planked in larch with rose.

Max joined the course from Hampshire just after completing his A levels. A practical person, before joining the Academy, he finished restoring a Triumph Tiger Cub motorbike, and for his design technology A level he enjoyed building a pop-up roof tent for his VW.

Taking a gap-year and wanting to do something meaningful in this time, Max came to the BBA to develop his practical skills.

Ben has worked as a photographer’s assistant in Brighton, and also has a degree in marine biology from Portsmouth University. For part of his course he joined the Atlantic Whale Foundation conservation programme in Honduras, where he focused on whale shark and coral reef conservation.  He has PADI Diving certificates and is also a qualified Ski Instructor.  Looking for a career that would combine his love for the water and enable him to work creatively, Ben decided to join the 38-week course.

Max has now been offered a place to study architecture at Greenwich, which he says his time at the Academy greatly helped him to receive, while Ben plans to use his new skills and level 3 diploma to begin a career in the marine industry.

See Pingvin’s build diary.

BBA students launch Oughtred-designed faering


Photos of Eagdyth taken by Jenny Steer and Phillipa Gedge

Eadgyth built by students Boat Building Academy students Matt Goode and Jay Preston is a 16ft 6in  by 4ft 9.5in Iain Oughtred Elfyn design built in plywood, and  fitted out in sapele with oak detailing.

She has a balanced lug rig, and traditional kabes – strong timber supports for oars – rather than the usual rowlocks for rowing.

Matt chose the design after coming across an article about faerings – double ended Norwegian boats – in a magazine in the BBA boat bookcase. He liked the look of them but perhaps most of all its Scandinavian origins called out to his soul. After a little more research, Matt found plans for a more modern version drawn up by Iain Oughtred.

Having launched her, Matt reports that he is ‘absolutely chuffed’ with the boat, which he plans to use for family sailing with his son, Richard, and his wife – if she feels brave enough to sail with him.

For 20 years, Matt worked as an engineer in the automotive industry in Cardiff, but was made redundant in June 2011; while researching different career options, he came across the BBA website three days later started the first of four short courses, by the end of which he had been bitten by the boat building bug and enrolled onto the 38-week course.

After finishing the course Matt has now returned to Cardiff and has been doing voluntary work helping to fit out a 65ft schooner Prince Madoc, together with his son. Recently have been helping to set up the World of Boats, which opens at Cardiff on the 23rd August.

Jay is now employed by the Good Wood Boat Company  based in Cumbria.

The company prides itself on creating beautiful hand crafted classic boats using ‘responsibly managed and ethically sourced timber’. They are also the first boat building company to gain Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), certification meaning that all wood used to build their boats has come from responsibly managed forests.