Win an eight-week BBA boat building course in the Gail McGarva workshop raffle

Gail McGarva and friends working on lerret at the BBA

There’s always something going off down at the Boat Building Academy, and this time it’s a raffle to raise money for a permanent workshop for Gail McGarva. You could win an 8-week BBA boatbuilding course…

The Academy folks are very keen to keep Gail in Lyme – as well as having superb woodworking and teaching skills Gail also manages to involve a wide selection of the local community. For example, when she was building a lerret recently she organising a ‘knees-up’ in which a widely disparate group of people came together to help make knees; the group ranged from royal warrant holders to socially excluded young adults. See the photo above.

It’s a mark of the BBA’s enthusiasm that it is prepared to raffle its courses which – a £1 ticket could win you any of the following:

  • First prize: an 8-week woodworking course and £100 towards materials for a personal project piece
  • Second prize: a 5-day traditional wooden boat building or wooden boat restoration short course
  • Third prize: work for a day with Gail in her workshop

For more information see the BBA’s raffle page. Tickets can be bought on line or by ringing the Academy’s office.

Beale Park Boat Show preview: De Bootbouwschool boatbuilding school shows the Hanze yawl

Hanze yawl Bert van Baar De Bootbouwschool

Hanze yawl Bert van Baar De Bootbouwschool Hanze yawl Bert van Baar De Bootbouwschool Hanze yawl Bert van Baar De Bootbouwschool

Bert van Baar has written to say that at the Beale Park Boat Show (10-12th June) the De Bootbouwschool will be showing the good-looking Hanze yawl, which he and colleagues designed last winter during a three-day course on lofting.

With the aid of Pepijn van Schaik of Manta Marine Design, the school has now made a set of plans available to purchase; the boat will also be available as a kit this year.

The boat was built during a nine-day boatbuilding course with five people in my workshop during March – she is to be finished by the student who was lucky enough to win the boat in a lottery, although I don’t think this will be completed before the show.

The Hanze yawl will be rigged in the same way as Iain Oughtred’s Ness Yawl as standard, although other rigging arrangements are available on demand.

Bert himself has just finished a whitehall rowing boat with sliding seats for a Dutch owner, and is now building an example of Oughtred’s Kotik design for a Russian customer – it’s a streched version of the well known Wee Seal.

PS – We’ve just passed 2,000,000 hits!




The first St Ayles skiff building progress, 9th October 2009

St A Skiff 577

the never ending cleanup DSC_3518 Cox's seat

Alec trying tiller options

Chris Perkins’ and Alec Jordan’s latest photos of the first St Ayles skiff build, including some more shots of the increasingly well exposed Alec Jordan – I hope he enjoys his new celebrity!

These are Chris Perkins’ and Alec Jordan’s photos showing the latest progress on the Iain Oughtred-designed St Ayles skiff currently  going together in Alec’s workshop for use by the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project. For more on this story, click here.

Here’s what Chris has to say this week:

‘A belated catch up report, for which apologies, on the progress of the St Ayles Skiff.

‘My last week on the project was spent cleaning up the inwales, building a temporary cox perch and generally helping fit the furniture and titivating. Each time this stage is reached in a build I am amazed at how much time is absorbed removing material. Work that will never be appreciated by anyone who has not got that particular T shirt but is immediately apparent if it is neglected. The route to a respectable finish always lies in the preparation – a truism that can never be said often enough in my view.

‘The snaps include a couple of high level shots showing the almost structurally completed boat, just the breasthooks to fit at that stage (now done), obtained after some precarious ladder work by Alec in the upper reaches of his workshop.

‘The cox’s seat is a temporary affair until the positioning of feet and seats are proven on the water, after which the buoyancy compartments will be retrofitted – space is pretty tight and it would be easy to get positioning wrong in a static environment – we really need to see the dynamics of the interaction of the various bodies to establish best position.

‘The week passed all too quickly and my time on the build was over. Altogether it has been a fascinating few weeks that has transformed my view of kit boats. I am extremely grateful for Alec’s invitation to join in the build which I hugely enjoyed – so much so that I have put my name down for the Ullapool group aiming to build the first West Coast St Ayles skiff, although I’m not sure I have the spine to be an oarsman.

‘Alec has now started applying the finish, varnished gunnels and thwarts with the rest of the hull painted so it shouldn’t be too long before I head down to the other end of Scotland to see how she looks on the water.


Thanks once again Chris!

Don’t miss something good. Sign up below to start receiving the free weekly email newsletter.