Boat Building Academy students build a small South Bay catboat

  Michael Tyler's Catboat 'Lucie' designed by Mike Broome. Photo by Emma Brice

Boat Building Academy students Mike Tyler, Jon Bicknell and Andy Blundy built this strip-built South Bay-style catboat to a design worked up by the students with the help of instructor Mike Broome.

Local lad Mike – he commuted to Lyme from Sidmouth each day of the course – worked in banking before coming to the BBA. However, he seems to be a man of many interests: previously he had studied sculpture at art college, where he frequently worked with driftwood, and dreamed of becoming a boat builder.

Mike particularly wished to build an ‘original’ design with a sculptural form, and was inspired by the Victorian half rater built by another BBA student, Martin Nott. Mike then came across the 21ft Gilbert Smith design Lucile that was then redesigned to a manageable size with instructor Mike Broome’s help – and the result was the 14ft Lucie.

Mike Tyler is now at Pangbourne, Reading, and involved in setting up the new Beale Park Maritime Museum.

Jon comes from a background in information technology design and Jon worked predominantly with Mike on Lucie – although did spend an hour here and there on other builds. Having finished the course is now busy finding his feet in the boat building industry.

I gather Andy, who was previously a floor layer, was a little less involved – but was an asset to everyone at the Academy, always cheery and ready to help. Like the other students not building their own boats, he circulated around the boat builds to gain a thorough knowledge on as many construction types as possible.

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