Boats built by Boat Building Academy students

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Ian Thompson folding dinghy Nestaway

Ian Thomson and his Nestaway folding dinghy

Yvonne Green, principal of the Boat Building Academy at Lyme Regis has kindly sent us some photos and details of boatbuilding projects by recent students. Thanks Yvonne!

Ian Thomson joined the Boat Building Academy’s 38-week course because he wanted to develop a sectional dinghy, now known as Nestaway. Since leaving the Academy he and the student who helped him on the build have set up a workshop in Dorset and will be exhibiting at the Southampton Boat Show this year. Readers may also have seen it at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show this year.

In an earlier life, Ian was sales director for Nauticalia, so I’m sure he has the enterprise to make a success of the Nestaway, if anyone can do it.

The Nestaway photographed at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show

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Hudson folding boat at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall

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Hudson folding boat at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Hudson folding dinghy ready to travel

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall’s latest study boat area is dedicated to folding boats, and one of the exhibits is this Hudson folding dinghy.

Donated to the Museum by the Hudson family, the folding dinghy dates back to the 1930s.

It was designed and made by RJ Hudson, who originally came from Dublin and later moved to Devon, and folds down to make a flat object approximately 10 inches thick

Perfect for carrying along the running boards or roof of a car, or on the side-deck of a yacht, the boat was designed to open and fold in less than 30 seconds by means of a single lever. Each element slotted into place upon opening, and required no other form of securing.

Its strength of construction was gained from a rigid frame consisting of its stem, keel and sternpost. Specially prepared sheets of marine plywood were used for the planking, and the entire boat was said to have no fragile parts and no exposed canvas.

Promoted for fishing and duck shooting boat, the Hudson folding dinghy was one of the earliest folding boats and started a huge phase of easily accessible and transportable folding boats.

Two folding canoes designed and made by the Granta Folding Boat Company also feature in the display.

The display at the NMMC runs from the 28th January until the 30th April.

Go to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall website for more information about the organisation’s events.

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