BBA students launch a clinker-built pilchard larker

BBA student launch pilchard larker photo by Jenny Steer BBA student launch pilchard larker photo by Jenny Steer

BBA student launch pilchard larker photo by Emma Brice BBA student launch pilchard larker photo by Emma Brice

This splendid 17ft larch on oak pilchard larker named Jessica Rose was built by Boat Building Academy students Ken Bromage, Christian Skeels and Ben Dixon. The photos by Jenny Steer and Emma Brice show her being launched in December.

She is a 17ft clinker built fishing yawl built using larch on oak, and is based on a 1909 hull from Cawsands near Plymouth. There are photos of her build here, and Ken’s own weblog is here.

Ken worked as a Navy chaplain for 25 years before becoming a student at the BBA, and although his aim was a new lifestyle, he also wanted to provide a service for ex-service men and women.

Since finishing the course, Ken has begun  setting up an organisation that promotes sustainable fishing in traditional boats and employing ex service men and women – keep an eye out for further information.

From Glasgow, Ben attended the BBA’s long course after working as an endoscope decontamination technician for NHS Scotland. He had dreamed of working in the marine industry for many years and has now started work with Sunseeker at Portland.

Christian arrived at the BBA from Harrogate, where he worked for the council. However, he has a strong family background of woodworking – his earliest memories are of his father’s workshop – and sailing was a childhood passion.

Christian now lives near Lyme harbour, just yards from the BBA’s building, and has set up a boat building and servicing business.

Adrian Morgan builds an Oughtred Tammie Norrie

Iain Oughtred-designed Tammie Norrie built  by Adrian Morgan of Viking Boats Iain Oughtred-designed Tammie Norrie built  by Adrian Morgan of Viking Boats

Columnist and boat builder Adrian Morgan of Viking Boats has been putting together a handsome Iain Oughtred-designed Tammie Norrie that is destined for a Highland estate. In fact, it’s one of two lug-rigged dinghies ordered for use guests and family on a huge private loch.

The timber is old slow-grown Scots pine from Her Majesty the Queen’s estate at Balmoral and larch from the Oban area, with oak knees etc. He’s used larch too for the steamed timbers, as he believes it is longer lasting and more supple than oak, and also for the garboards.

Read all about it on Adrian’s engaging weblog The Trouble with Old Boats.

Duncan Sclare pours 19ft Gartside cutter keel

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Duncan Sclare pours the lead keel for his 19ft Paul Gartside-designed cutter. Click on the thumbnails for larger images

Duncan Sclare in County Mayo, Ireland has an advantage over many amateur boatbuilders: 30-odd years of experience as a furniture-maker, cabinet-maker, carpenter and joiner. See his website here to see what I mean.

Talented and practical man though he is, I still think the story of how he cast his own lead keel this week is quite something. Here’s what he says:

‘Hi Gavin. Your readers may be interested in my project to build Paul Gartsides cutter design 163. This build is going to take some time as it has to be fitted in around making wardrobes, kitchens and other stuff I do to make a crust. I have been working on it for almost a year now with little to show exept lofting, lists, stacks of timber and so on.

‘Last weekend however work for real started with the casting of the keel. The pictures show the mould made from MDF and softwood and buried it in sand. Just short of 1 tonne of scrap lead was then melted down in an old cast iron bath. This took about three hours, but then the plug was pulled and the molten lead allowed to run into the mould. There was some singeing of timber and my hair, but otherwise it seems to have been successful!

‘The keel now needs shaping up and we can start to add the oak timbers on top. It will be great to get into some woodwork after that messy job!

‘In the background of the picture of the mould shows larch boards (planking) air seasoning and my battered Orkney Strikeliner still used for day trips around our West Coast.

‘I will keep you posted on (slow) progress. BTW, I love the site – great work keep it up. Best wishes, Duncan.’

Wow Duncan. With so much danger and excitement going on, I’m astonished you found time to take the shots! The result looks excellent, by the way 😉

See Duncan’s striking photos of Inishkea in an earlier post.

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