BBA student builds Justin Adkin-designed fiberglass rowing skiff – then starts company to make and sell them

Jim's Justin Adkin rowing skiff off to sea.  Photograph by Laurence Madill Jim's fibreglass rowing skiff. Photograph by Jon Palmer

Jim's fibreglass rowing skiff - Photograph by Jenny Steer Jim Little's fibreglass rowing skiff - Photograph by Jenny Steer

Boat Building Academy student Jim Little has built a fibreglass rowing skiff designed by instructor Justin Adkin.  (Earlier student, Jon Palmer, built a similar boat in 2009/10.)

The fibreglass boat is included on the course to introduce students to this method of boat building. It was designed for short- to medium-length coastal regatta rowing races, and has a solid fibreglass layup in chopped strand matt, built in buoyancy tanks, a modern pin gate oarlock and a fixed seat rowing set-up.

There was talk that it would race on Monday 8th August in the regatta at Beer, which is Justin’s village home, though I see how Justin did from the regatta website.

Jim worked in journalism, marketing and communication before dipping his toe in the water on one of the BBA’s eight-week woodworking skills course, which lead to him joining the 38-week long course. He has now set-up a business in Devon called Fox 14, which is making and selling the boats.

The BBA course launch day was windy for the small sailing boats built by the students, but Justin took the new skiff for a spin and came back chuffed after having successfully ‘surfed’ several waves.

To see a photographic diary of the build click here, and for the Fox 14 website click here.

Edo canoe enquiry

EDO canoe 4

EDO canoe 2 EDO canoe 3 EDO canoe 3

Someone called Marianne has written from the USA to ask if anyone can tell her more about a kayak she acquired recently. It bears the brand Edo Western Corp, Salt Lake City, UT, Model#8102, Serial #148.

From the Wikipedia and elsewhere she has learned that company founder Earl Dodge Osborn developed floats for seaplanes, among other boats, but has not been able to find out anything about this particular product, including when it was made – Marianne suspects it was made in the 1940’s or 50’s, although the person who sold kayak said it dated from 1963?

I think it’s a wonderful period piece by the way – just look at those handles at bows and stern! As usual, if you can help, please either email me at or use the comment link below.