The first Bristol 27 motor cruiser is launched by Star Yachts

Star Yachts Bristol 27 Star Yachts Bristol 27

Star Yachts Bristol 27 Star Yachts Bristol 27 Star Yachts Bristol 27

Star Yachts Bristol 27 Star Yachts Bristol 27

This is Eskdale – the first example of a strip-built Bristol 27 motor cruiser built by Win Cnoops and colleagues at Star Yachts, and designed by Andrew Wolstenholme.

It has obviously been drawn and built with the intention of evoking a bygone age, but I think it’s a stylishly retro craft in any language.

As built she has port and starboard bunks, one of which converts to a double, lockers, a galley and separate heads, a small locker, aft of these is a small galley on one side, and a hanging locker on the other. Win is offering a variety of options for future boats, including a choice of 50hp engine offering a maximum of 12 knots and a 38hp offering 10 knots.

Boat Building Academy students launch a stripper canoe with sailing rig

Strip-built canoe under inspection at the harbour. Photograph by BBA student and photographer Derek Thompson LRPS BBA Director Tim Gedge presents Chris Smith with his certificate after the launch.  Photograph by Jenny Steer

Chris on his maiden sail.  Photograph by Jenny Steer Chris, Colleen and Cally preparing the EllaJen's maiden voyage. Photograph by Jenny Steer




Boat Building Academy student Chris Smith from Dundee built this Selway-Fisher designed 16ft Canadian sailing canoe, with the help of included Paul Hutchins, who is from the South Devon.

Named EllaJen, the canoe is strip-planked in western red cedar, with a resin-infused inner laminate giving a lighter structure and higher quality finish. Chris chose the design because wanted to build something a bit different, and a canoe he could sail as well paddle fitted the bill.

Find out more about Chris’s canoe at his blog here, and see a photographic diary of the build here.

Before joining the Academy, Chris completed a degree in marine sport technology, which enabled him to kit the canoe out in modern racing dinghy style, with a light-weight carbon-fibre mast and racy rigging and control lines.

Chris has now now applied to take a masters degree in maritime engineering science at Southampton.

Co-worker Paul is busy establishing a workshop and business in Tavistock specialising in traditional and bespoke joinery, traditional boats, shepherd’s huts and gypsy wagons. The business is called Tavy and Tamar Boat Builders and he can be reached at

PS – While we’re thinking about the BBA, don’t forget the raffle to raise money for a permanent workshop at Lyme for Gail McGarva. There are just a few days left, and the prizes include an eight-week woodworking course and £100 towards materials for a personal project piece, a five-day traditional wooden boat building or wooden boat restoration short course, and a day with Gail in her workshop. More than £1000 has been raised so far, and tickets will also be available at the Lyme Gig Regatta on the 14th August – which is also the day of the draw.


An Islay skiff, a stripper canoe and a model Folkboat – three more summer BBA launches

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Martin McMahon Islay Skiff

Martin McMahon Islay Skiff

James Downs - strip-built Canadian Canoe

Model Nordic Folkboat Tim Price - model Nordic Folkboat

The final three boats launched by Boat Building Academy students this year are a 16ft 5in Selway Fisher-designed Islay skiff built by Martin McMahon, a 14ft 3in Canadian canoe built by James Downs, and a 1m remote controlled model Nordic Folkboat made by Tim Price.

After 40 years of sales and marketing, the lure of boat building training could wait no longer for Martin, who is an experienced sailor. Like a number of other BBA students in the past, he chose to build a Selway-Fisher design, and this time it was the strip planked Islay skiff in red cedar.

James joined the Academy straight from college where he studied carpentry
and joinery.

Originally from South Africa, Tim came to the BBA via Alderney in the Channel Islands.  He built his 1m remote control model of a Nordic Folkboat in his spare time.

The next Boat Building Academy student launch will be 9.30am on Thursday the 9th December. Up to five boats will be launched from the class of march 2010.

The builds include a replica of the traditional clinker-built Dorset crab and lobster boat Witch of Worbarrow (see more of this project here), a 13 ft 6 in cold-moulded electric motor launch, a 14ft Whitehall skiff, a 15ft Chestnut canoe and an 18ft strip-planked, gaff-rigged daysailer.

The latest on these builds can be seen at the BBA website.