The Boat Building Academy’s class of March 2014 launched the boats built as part of their course under brilliant blue skies on 3 December. Here’s principal Yvonne Green’s report:
‘Two hundred people including Lyme Regis mayor Sally Holman gathered to celebrate the end of the course.
‘The eleven students came to the BBA from places as far apart as Brazil, America and Bridport, just 9 miles down the road from Lyme.
‘For the first time a father and son, Laurence and Will Shillingford, were on the course at the same time. Will is off to work at Michael Dennett’s in Chertsey, where he will join 2013 intake graduate Adam Smith, while Laurence returns to Bridport, with a 21ft Thames skiff based on a drawing in the book Working Boats of Britain by Eric McKee.
‘The François Vivier-designed 14ft Beg Meil gaff-rigged dinghy made a festive splash of red, crew dressed in homage to the designer.
‘Instructor Mike Broome designed the 14ft outboard-powered runabout.
‘Sadly a strip-planked Alden O Class sloop was unfinished and stayed in the workshop; in order to launch her the students would have made a rush job of finishing, which would have been a sin.
‘But she’s still going to attract a lot of attention once she’s finished.
‘Last but not least is The Lost Tribe. A 12ft glued clinker Fleet Trow. Builder and owner Nigel Chapman plans to use her for fishing, but was taken seriously ill half way through the course. The Trow was finished, but fortunately Nigel is recovering and we look forward to him rejoining us when he’s fit enough.
‘After the certificate awards the students danced until 10pm at the Power Boat Club on the beach opposite the Academy.
‘They’ve thrown down the gauntlet to their friends in the class of September 2014, who move down onto the main workshop floor after Christmas.’