Share your boatbuilding and restoration stories

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Some recent boatbuilding posts at, including making a moustache, boats built to plans by Iain Oughtred and Tad Roberts, a birch bark canoe and photos from Newlyn. Click on the images above to see them all

Amateurs and professionals If you’ve got a restoration or boatbuilding project you’d like the world to know about, why not send us something about it we can post? We will of course link back to your website or weblog, if you have one, or include contact details if that’s what you’d like. It’s a great way to get a project weblog or new website known to the tens of thousands of visitors who drop in at each month* – and it’s entirely free.

All we need from you are photos and some interesting words – the background to the the project, perhaps a little history about the boat type or the boat itself, something about the interest the boat holds for its owner and builder.

Of course there’s more to boating than boats, and more to the sea than water, and ranges broadly in its boating-related topics. However, the beating heart of it is its interest in old boats, boat restorations, and boatbuilding projects with just a little of the traditional about them – and so that’s what we’d love to hear about from you.

*As of this morning, Statcounter reports that has received 13,596 visitors in the last 30 days. Send us a story at and some of them could be coming your way.

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Chris Old and Chris Stone build a glued-clinker Whitehall at the Boat Building Academy

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As promised, Boat Building Academy principal Yvonne Green has sent us some more photos from the big student launch day at Lyme last month.

This is despite being frantically busy setting up a new eight-week course on  woodworking skills – the course needs a new workshop, and I gather the Academy’s short courses in particular are attracting huge numbers of enquiries.

Here’s what she has to say about the boat in these photos:

Chris Old, a doctor of oceanography from New Zealand, and Chris Stone, and aerospace industry computer engineer by background, built a very elegant glued-clinker Whitehall skiff. The offsets and lines were taken from a book by John Gardner, founder of the Mystic Seaport Museum’s boatbuilding courses.

‘White paintwork was highlighted by varnished khaya gunwales, thwarts and trim. Lyme Regis’ Mayor  Sally Holman was particularly taken with this boat, as am I.’

I gather the  boat was built to a set of offsets for a 14ft Whitehall included in the Gardner compendium volume Building Classic Small Craft: Complete Plans and Instructions for 47 Boats, which includes plans for an impressive 47 boats and is currently available for the knock-down price of £19.99 from Amazon. See more Gardner books at Amazon here.

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

I think we may be seeing an increase in interest in Whitehalls in the UK. For more posts relating to these boats click here, and for posts relating to John Gardner click here.


Boat Building Academy student boat launch day December 2008

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Launch day at the Boat Building Academy. As usual, click on the
thumbnails for much larger photos

Boat Building Academy principal Yvonne Green has written to tell us about her students’ big launch day down at Lyme Regis. It looks and sounds wonderfully jolly with such nice weather and such a big crowd of supporters, and it must have been quite an emotional event too.

‘The Boat Building Academy launched seven boats at noon on 10th December – more than from any previous course.

‘The fourteen students who built the boats started the 38 week course on 17th March 2008. The first twelve weeks was spent developing their woodworking skills (some started with none), painting and finishing, making oars, building clinker sections and laminating the stem sections that make up the City & Guilds assessment pieces – they take the Level 3 City & Guilds 2451 technical exams as well as learn how to build boats, and they all passed – in addition to time in the classroom on theory, deciding what boats to build and lofting them.

‘They went down onto the main workshop floor on 16th June this year and started the builds; one traditional clinker, three glued clinker, one strip plank, one stitch and glue and a cold-moulded wherry spiled to simulate carvel. Two of the boats were designed by main instructor for the March 2008 course Mike Broome, and two sets of plans came from the Mystic Seaport Museum .

‘To say we’re proud of the course’s achievement is a massive understatement. Over the last 38 weeks of the course the workshop has not been a beach-side oasis of peace and tranquillity, but the product of all that energy is superb.

‘About a hundred and fifty people walked the boats down to the harbour in brilliant sunshine. Academy director  Tim Gedge said a few words, followed by the Mayor of Lyme Regis, before the real business of the day began and the boats were launched one by one into the water. They all floated, we all cheered… ‘

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

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