Boat Building Academy students’ launch day summer 2011

Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy boat launch 2011

Reader Fraser McGruer sent us this link to his video of the Boat Building Academy students’ launch day summer 2011, which took place a couple of weeks ago.

I don’t often like the music people use as background to their videos, but I very much enjoyed this one, and I hope you do too.

Big crowds and strong winds at the Boat Building Academy’s summer student launch

Boat Building Academy launch crowds summer 2011 photos by Tracy Marler

Boat Building Academy launch crowds summer 2011 photos by Tracy Marler Boat Building Academy launch crowds summer 2011 photos by Tracy Marler

Photos by Tracy Marler

For years Boat Building Academy students at Lyme have been amazingly lucky with the weather on their big launch day – but not this time. These shots were taken at the summer launch day on the 7th June. The weather was mean and moody, and although the rain kept off for most of the day, Academy principal Yvonne Green reports that the big issue was wind.

‘Two of the boats couldn’t go in: the harbourmaster saw the Yachting World Dayboat zip through the harbour and decided the Haven 12 1/2 and the Half Rater were staying on the shore,’ she says, ‘but the other ten were launched to the cheers of a crowd of between three and four hundred people.’

It’s a shame about the weather, but what a great turn out!

I gather Yvonne is gathering together photos of the original boats for us. To read about the twelve boats the students build over the winter, click here.

Students at the Boat Building Academy race to complete boat building projects

1 james higson paul gartside clinker dinghy boat building academy 1503113 2 Hannah Jenkins Polynesian canoe 3 fiona molloy tammie norrie boat building academy 1503112

Paul Gartside dinghy, Polynesian canoe, Tammie Norrie

4 uli killer spitzl boat building academy 130511 5 martin nott half rater sibbick boat building academy 1503112 6 Ollie Rees Barnacle 10ft clinker dinghy

Spitzl rowing boat, half-rater, 10ft dinghy

7 tom sargison cayman catboat boat building academy 1305113 8 sean quail - yachting world dayboat boat building academy 1503112 9 Chris Smith selway fisher canoe 7

Caymans catboat, Yachting World Dayboat, Selway Fisher canoe

10 wee rob canoe Matt Cowlbeck 11 gary thompson haven joel white boat building academy 1503113

Wee Rob canoe, Haven 12 1/2

Students and tutors at the Boat Building Academy are to launch a record twelve boat building projects by the September 2010 group on June 7th.

The event details are available here and the BBA folks would like to invite everyone to join us in the celebrations.

With 18 days to go, principal Yvonne Green says the workshops have never been busier – every spare inch of space seems to be occupied by a boat or a bit of a boat. On main instructor Justin Adkin’s weekly boat round on Friday morning Justin was quietly confident that every boat could be completed on time – but he did mention midnight oil on a couple of occasions…

Yvonne adds that while the students (and staff) will probably be shattered by launch day, the boats will be glorious.

‘The boats will be lined up outside the Academy before being walked down to the harbour on the morning of 7th,’ explains Yvonne. ‘Anyone who wants to join us walking them down is very welcome.

‘We’re then off to Beale on Thursday 9th and Art in Action on 23rd July. It’s going to be a busy summer.’

Here’s a quick preview of what will be going into the water, the links lead to each boat’s build diary:

They include:

  • Paul Gartside-designed 12ft traditional clinker dinghy, built in larch and oak with a grown stem and knees. This boat will also be at the Art in Action exhibition, where it has been entered into the Best of the Best category
  • Polynesian outrigger sailing canoe, 16ft long with a cold moulded hull and glass and foam outrigger
  • Spitzl classic German 4.4m lake rowing boat, built traditionally in clinker mahogany on oak. Her main builder, Uli Killer was still up at 7am one morning, and even then just kept oiling until by the end of the day she had 30 coats.
  • Iain Oughtred Tammie Norrie, glued ply and epoxy, with fifteen coats of oil.
  • Diamond Half Rater originally designed by Charles Sibbick in 1897 6.5m long, it is a replica created on the lofting room floor from photographs, a couple of similar lines plans and the only other existing replica Half Rater from another (American) designer that is owned by Rees Martin, a great friend of the Academy. Her hull has a cedar core with laminated outer and inner skins – the the inner skin was resin-infused
  • Yachting World Dayboat with spruce planking, mahogany backbone and oak timbers. She’s identical to a boat built by Lachlan MacKenzie and the class of September 2009
  • Traditional clinker dinghy built from lines taken from a boat restored at the school by short courses, planked in mahogany
  • 14ft Cayman islands catboat of carvel construction, planked in cedar Mexicana. She has a typical Caribbean hull shape used for fishing and racing. She will be going to the Caymans after the launch. All frames laminated in epoxy were baked i.e. post-cured to ensure maximum strength from the glue which then won’t be affected by the Caribbean hea.
  • Strip planked sailing canoe designed by Selway Fisher, 14ft, with a cedar core with laminated outer and inner skin, of which the inner skin was resin-infused
  • Iain Oughtred Wee Rob canoe in glued clinker ply, with simple fit-out with the paddler sitting on the floor boards
  • Joel White Haven 12½ made in epoxy glass and foam with traditional fit-out, oak-laid deck and rig
  • Fit-out of GRP rowing boat, CSM lay-up designed by instructor Justin Adkin from the sliced bread mould admired by David Johnson of Wessex resins some time ago – click here

It sounds like a great day in the making. I can’t be there for boring work reasons. So if anyone could send me some shots at, I’d be most grateful!