A Joel White Haven 12 1/2 launched at the Boatbuilding Academy

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John  Watson and Dave Snelling’s 12 1/2 Haven on student launch day in December

John Watson and build partner Dave Snelling built the Joel White Haven 12 1/2 version of Nat Herreschoff’s 12 1/2 Buzzard’s Bay Boy’s Boat during their course at the Builtbuilding Academy, reports principal Yvonne Green.

While the original design has a full keel, the Joel White version has a centreboard, making it possible to bring the boat into  shallow waters and easier to trailer. The boat is Douglas fir strip planked and sheathed in glass fibre, has a cast lead ballast keel, and is 15ft 11in in length with a beam of 6ft 1in.

Neither John nor David were doing practical work before they came on the course at Lyme – for the last thirty years John has worked in corporate law in America, while Dave, although he worked in the marine industry at the beginning of his career, has been working in IT. Yvonne says the boat was quite an achievement, but John and Dave were incredibly focused on the course and worked steadily to complete it in the six months they had on the main workshop floor.

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Matt Stiles’ stunning Joel White rowing wherry

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Instructor Justin and dog Worthington guiding young Matt on his first time in
a narrow, round-bottomed rower. I don’t think he’s talking about a fish, but
about balance in a naturally tippy boat

Yvonne Green, principal of the Boat Building Academy at Lyme Regis (see earlier posts) has promised to send us material about the student boats launched a few days ago. The first comes from Matt Stiles:

‘Matt from Buckinghamshire was the youngest student on the March course. He is a qualified RYA Dinghy Instructor and is pursuing his love for sailing and woodwork.

‘He built a 20ft Joel White Bangor Packet rowing wherry, cold moulded with 1.5mm sapele veneers (two layers diagonal, final layer fore-and-aft) spiled to simulate carvel planking and finished bright throughout.

‘Matt confessed shortly before the launch that he’d never rowed, so academy instructor and Atlantic rower Justin Adkin gave him a crash course in what not to do and advised a dry suit. Matt, happily, didn’t capsize and the wherry looked fantastic.

‘Gav, Happy Christmas. It’s a pleasure dealing with you, and we love the site. Here’s to many more communications in 2009.

Many thanks for the photos of this terrific piece of work by Matt. Here’s to a great Christmas despite all the gloom, and here’s to many more many more projects from Lyme!

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Charlie Hussey builds a modified peapod

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Seapod the peapod, built by Charlie Hussey

Here’s more news from Yvonne Green, principal of the Boat Building Academy at Lyme Regis – the third in a series about boats built by students while at the Academy.

Charlie Hussey built Seapod, a modified North American peapod originally based on a couple of existing peapod designs.

‘Frankly, at the beginning we tried to put him off the build,’ says Yvonne. ‘He had spent twenty five years in the IT industry, the last fifteen as founding director of a software services company. It was all a long way from working with wood and the build was not an easy one, a 15ft carvel double-ended sailing boat.

‘But we hadn’t reckoned on Charlie’s intelligence, tenacity and sheer hard work. We’re glad we were wrong. Seapod is a beautiful little boat. Charlie also found time, while on the course, to write a detailed weblog of the work he did. It’s at http://boatbuilding.wordpress.com He’s now back in Scotland, looking for a restoration job, and has started a new website and weblog, http://marinecarpentry.com

Thanks for the tipoff, Yvonne. I think it will be well worth following, and naturally I’ve added it to the intheboatshed.net blogroll, which appears to the right of this post.

Seapod was one of the best things I saw at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show this year and looking back at my files I took quite a few photos of her. As usual, click on the thumbnails below for bigger and better images. Well done Charlie!

Seapod pictured at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show

For more posts relating to the Boat Building Academy and its students, click here.

There’s a nice discussion of the peapod type in John Gardner’s book Building Classic Small Craft, which may well be available via ABE Books.

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