Remember Marc Chivers, who built this handsome 13ft pilot punt during his time at the Boat Building Academy? (For more on the pilot punt, click here.)
He’s now working for Ashley Butler down at Dartmouth and is very happy with his new life, according to an interview he has given to Careershifters.org. At Butler & Co, he’s currently working on Pilgrim, an 1895 Brixham sailing trawler.
Before coming to boat building Marc had been carving a career working in the NHS for a primary care trust, a role he found ‘frustrating, soul destroying and generally unfulfilling’.
(Of course, under our new government, if he was still working for a PCT he’d now be facing redundancy.)
He told Careershifters that making the change was easy: he split-up from his ex-wife, resigned from his job and enrolled on the boat building course with the Boat Building Academy. I suppose it sounds easy if you say it quickly.
From the quotes online, there’s no question Marc is a happier man however: ‘I love my new life and I love working in the boat yard helping to build and restore wooden boats is wonderful,’ he told the website. ‘The guys I work with are great and they all are more than happy to share and impart their skills.’
He also added that the work itself is very hard physically as it involves big lumps of wood and working outdoors in all weathers. I can believe it. One of the enduring underlying themes of this weblog is that there’s something special and admirable about those who build and maintain traditional boats – they’re definitely made of sterner stuff than most of us.
Marc’s weblog reveals more about his new life: click here.
PS – Do check out the Butler & Co weblog – they found WWII bullets in one of the timbers!
A recent 12ft rowing dinghy by Stirling & Son
These delicious photos come from regular contributor, boat builder, historian and designer Will Stirling of Stirling & Son. The plans for this boat are available to buy, as his letter below explains:
‘Attached photos of the most recent dinghy, a 12ft pulling boat. She is built of mahogany and oak with copper and bronze fastenings.
‘The clocks have gone back now so it is time to string up some lights otherwise the working day is too short.
‘I now have plans available in the following format:
- two sheets of A2 tracing paper
- two sheets of A1 tracing paper, a scantlings list
- a list of materials
- a CD with photographs of various stages and details of dinghy building
‘The A2 sheets contain the lines draught and consrtuctional detail, the A1 sheets have templates of the moulds and transom with the planking marked out and templates of the backbone members (stem, sternpost, stern knee etc).
‘Plans in this format are now available for a 9ft general purposes dinghy and an 11ft pilot’s punt of circa 1900 and a 17ft salmon boat. These plans cost £50 plus postage and packaging of £2.50 in the UK.
‘Plans without templates are available for a 21ft frigate’s longboat of 1757, a 37ft smuggling lugger of 1835 and a 43ft gentleman’s cutter of 1880.
‘I hope you are well. The Intheboatshed website is going from strength to strength; it is very popular with Google.
Many thanks Will! I do hope your plans go as well as they deserve – it’s only a shame that there aren’t more professional and home builders of these kinds of boats in the world.
Stirling & Son is based near Tavistock, Devon. See the company’s website www.stirlingandson.co.uk
tel 01822 614259.
9ft dinghy; 11ft pilot punt; keel, hog and stern assembly of pilot punt; dinghy building course in full swing; dinghy backbone assembly
Will Stirling has written to say that the plans he’s been drawing up for a traditional general purpose 9ft clinker-built dinghy and an 11ft pilot punt of circa 1900 are now are ready for sale to the boatbuilding public, and has kindly attached a few photos.
Each set of plans comprises two sheets of A2 tracing paper, two sheets of A1 tracing paper, a scantlings list, a list of materials and a CD with photographs of various stages and details of how the boats are built. The A2 sheets contain the lines draught and consrtuctional detail, while the A1 sheets include templates of the moulds and transom with the planking marked out and templates of the backbone memmbers (stem, sternpost, stern knee etc). The plans are priced at £50 each. In the near future, further plans in the same format will be available for a 17ft salmon fishing boat that Will is currently building.
Plans without templates are available for a 21ft frigate’s longboat of 1757, a 37ft smuggling lugger of 1835 and a 43ft gentleman’s cutter of 1880.
Stirling & Son are also now running dinghy building courses in which each student builds their own 9ft dinghy – and the the next course is starts on Monday 1st February 2010 and will run three days a week for 17 weeks, finishing on the 26 May. The cost of the course per student is £3,350 including materials, and I gather there is still one place available!
For more intheboatshed.net posts relating to Will Stirling and Stirling & Son, click here.
Contact Stirling & Son on tel 01822 614 259 or via the website at http://www.stirlingandson.co.uk .