Boat Building Academy long course student George McKimm built a 10ft clinker rowing boat using the plans for the Lawton tender in John Gardner’s book Building Small Classic Craft: Complete Plans and Instructions for 47 Boats, and launched her at the BBA’s December student launch.
The trip from the shed to the water was not the first journey this little rowing boat had made – back in October she travelled by motorway to the Marylebone Road in Central London, where she stood in the gateway of the John Soane church One Marylebone as part of the design and craft fair MADE London.
She was admired by hundreds of people who visited the fair and was said by some to be one of the best exhibits there.
The little boat is named Murron, which is Gaelic for ‘from the sea’ or ‘white sea’, depending on your source, and is planked in khaya mahogany on oak ribs.
Before enrolling on the Academy’s 38 week course, George from Renfrewshire worked as a self employed builder, mainly renovating homes. He has also worked in New Zealand re-fitting boats and as a fabricator for Princess Yachts.
George chose the plans for the tender developed by US boat builder Charles Lawton and recorded by Gardner because it was a small, useable boat that he could build in a traditional way, and which would enable him to develop his woodworking skills. Read about Gardner and Lawton here.
With just a few minor changes – George added extra knees and two rubbing strips – Murron was built in 12 weeks.
George, who has now returned to Scotland, looks forward to starting a new career in the marine industry, and says that: ‘Homes are too square – boats are rounded and much more interesting!’
Martin Lammers helped George with parts of the build as well as helping other students with their build projects.
Martin has been involved in the marine industry since he left school, when he started out as delivery and deck crew on luxury yachts in the Caribbean and Mediterranean.
He has also sailed and raced on a range of racing and classic yachts and before joining the Academy completed a BEng in Yacht Powercraft Design at Southampton Solent University.
Martin joined the BBA course with the aim of gaining practical boat building skills to combine with his knowledge of design; his dream being to work in a yard where he would be involved in the both designing and building of boats.
He plans to start his boat building career shortly with a job at Rustler Yachts in Falmouth.
(I’d add that his little boat makes an interesting comparison with the strip-built tenders built to the Lawton lines that you see around the Internet – and that Gardner’s book Building Classic Small Craft is well worth picking up, especially at it’s current price of about £11 from some sources. His other books of boat building plans and history are well worth having too.)