It’s almost time for the summer student launch at the Boat Building Academy at Lyme on the 10th June… So here’s an invitation, and a reminder of what the event’s about – a post about one of the boats BBA students dipped for the first time at the last student launch!
The final boat in the water at the BBA’s student launch event in December was a bright red 14ft glued-clinker Beg Meil dinghy built by Stuart McGowan and Graeme Furniss to plans by François Vivier.
Another student, Joe Wilkinson, also worked on the dinghy as well as all of the other boats built by the class.
Stuart has always had a passion for gaff-rigged boats; for a period he owned, sailed and raced a Cornish Shrimper and was a member of the Old Gaffers Association. He was particularly drawn to the Beg Meil design due to her rig, sailing abilities and half-decked, beamy layout.
The dinghy has been named Poppy after her red hull, the colour of which was chosen in memory of the classic red Porsche Stuart sold to pay for her build.
She has Douglas fir cockpit soles and spars, galvanised steel centre plate and copper coat antifoul below the water line.
Originally from Portsmouth, Stuart joined the Academy following a 40-year career in the water industry which took him all over the world. He joined the course to learn skills needed to complete repair work to wooden boats during his retirement.
Graeme worked as a child protection social worker before joining the Academy. A keen sailor, he wanted a new practical career working with his hands, and boat building seemed the perfect choice of craft for him to learn.
With time to fill before starting the 38 week course in March, starting in January he completed the first 8 weeks of the BBA’s 12-week woodworking skills’ course, during which he made a hatch cover for his 8 tonne double-ended carvel Hillyard.
Before attending the BBA’s 38-week course, Joe, from Staffordshire, was a qualified mechanic specialising in Land Rover repairs. He joined the course wanting a change, and is now working at Peak Oak Frames, an oak framing company near Sheffield, and has applied for an Edward Barnsley Workshop apprenticeship to further develop his woodworking skills.
Stuart will go on to work in yards and sailing clubs around the Solent and Graeme too will use his new woodworking and boat building skills in the marine industry.
The Beg Meil dinghy’s photographic build diary can be seen here.