BBA students build Herreshoff Biscayne Bay sailing skiff

Photos by Jenny Steer and Becky Joseph

This Nat Herreshoff-designed Biscayne Bay sailing skiff was built by Boat Building Academy student Nick Roche and launched at the BBA student launch day at Lyme Harbour last month.

Sadly there wasn’t much of a breeze, but Nick still rowed, with his sails set, out into the harbour to join the other Academy boats.

The skiff is 14ft 5in in length and of multi-chine construction and with a drop keel.

Nick chose the elegant 1912 American design because its lines and classic appearance appealed to him.

The sails were made at the Academy as part of a sail making course taught by Jeremy White of Elvstrom Sails; Jeremy was also on hand at the launch to help Nick with rigging.

Nick joined the Academy in March with the aim of making a career change after spending the past 19 years working in forest management and conservation in the UK, Asia and Africa. He is a qualified PRojects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2) practitioner and has worked as a co-ordinator for the Nepal-UK Community Forestry Project in Nigeria and for the Mersey Forest.

Nick will now find work in the marine industry, preferably in wooden boat building and will use his skiff for day sailing with family and friends.

Tom Oughton worked closely with Nick on the build as well as helping others with their build projects. Keen kayaker, Tom from Weymouth has worked as a lifeguard and activity instructor for PGL in France. He was inspired to learn boat building after his father built a strip-planked kayak and he decided to join the Academy looking for a new skilled based career.

Tom’s long term goal is to develop the traditional and modern skills he has gained from the Academy. In the future, when he has gained more experience at a yard, he would like to set up his own small business building wooden and composite boats.

See BBA student profiles here, boat diaries here, and photos from the launch here.

The sails are made for Stirling and Son 1880s-style racing cutter Integrity


The sails have been made up for the new 1880s-style 20-ton racing gaff cutter being built by Stirling & Son of Tavistock in Devon.

The sailmaker for the project is Steve Hall of North Sea Sails, who works from the Ibex Sail Loft in Tollesbury. The photos above were taken by Annikka Hall.

The sails are made from Clipper canvas with brass eyes, hand-stitched bolt ropes and leather work.

There are 2,000 square feet of sail between the jib, staysail, jib topsail, square sail, mainsail and yard topsail.

Earlier posts about Integrity can be found here; other posts about the Will Stirling and Stirling and Sons boat building and design work are available by clicking  here and following the ‘older posts’ link.