BBA student Ryan Johnson builds a West Greenland kayak


You don’t often see an unopened bottle of champers in a kayak

Boat Building Academy student Ryan Johnson built this West Greenland kayak, and launched it on the December student launch day.

He joined the Academy from Leicester, where he had been working as an apprentice manager for an auction company.

Ryan visited the BBA in the summer of 2010, when he decided that he would love to join the BBA’s long course.

After learning the basics of woodworking and helping others with their boat-building projects, and after trying out a similar kayak at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show, he decided to build one for himself.

The boat a classic skin-on-frame kayak in form and uses many traditional techniques but with a modern spin. The frame is of steamed oak steamed ribs, and the material is a ballistic nylon, which is coated in polyurethane to make it extra-durable and waterproof

Although it looks flimsy and weighs only 16kg, the BBA folks report that it has considerable strength and is remarkably easy to paddle through the water.