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.

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BBA invites readers to student launch

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Boat Building Academy student launch day invitation

Student launch invitation, showing a Pettersson motor launch made by student Lars Herfeldt and launched last December

The Boat Building Academy down at Lyme is inviting intheboatshed.net readers to attend its big student launch on the 9th December. The event starts from around 8am, with the boats going in the water at around 9.30am.

It will be possible for visitors to see the Academy premises, so long as they don’t get in the students’ way.

Some 18 students are launching boats, and the photos below show the current state of some of them. It looks like very nice work, but there’s still some way to go. Will they make it? I’m sure they will. I won’t be able to make it myself, so if any readers take their cameras, I would be grateful for photos I can publish please!

Click here for the BBA’s short course prospectus for 2011 – in addition to the established offerings, it is offering Colin Henwood of Henwood and Dean instructing a five-day course on renovation and finishing, a two-dayer on rope work and wire splicing, and a three- or five-day half-model making course, the length of which depends on whether you want to make a standard model or one of your own choice.

Last year’s course on building a West Greenland kayak is back, and there’s a new introduction to woodworking skills course, which might reasonably be described woodworking for the petrified.

Wooden boat building in progress at the Boat Building Academy Wooden boat building in progress at the Boat Building Academy Wooden boat building in progress at the Boat Building Academy

Wooden boat building in progress at the Boat Building Academy Wooden boat building in progress at the Boat Building Academy Wooden boat building in progress at the Boat Building Academy