Gifts & Careers

Woodwork Skills – Its not all about boat building

This week Classic Sailing launched a new partnership with the Boat Building Academy. Scattered amongst the sailing voyages on Classic Sailing website are now some tempting, land based courses covering every aspect of boat building. If you put Boat Building Academy in our ‘search’ box under voyages, you can see all the BBA courses with a direct focus on boat building, boat restorations and repairs.


But what if you have never done any woodwork? Or you are a lifetime bodger who wants to make amends and learn fine joinery. Perhaps your grandfathers left you his chisels and you want to sharpen them and create something. Perhaps like me, you went to school in an era where girls were not allowed to do woodwork?

In the article below we also summarise some of the supporting short courses you can also sign up at the Boat Building Academy to simply improve your existing woodwork skills, or start you on a journey to a totally new hobby or career skills.

These courses also make great gifts, starting at £295 for 2 full days in Lyme Regis, or from £595 for a 5 day course.

The Boat Building Academy is located on Monmouth Beach in Lyme Regis, only a stones throw from the famous Cobb harbour and fossil beaches. This internationally renowned boat building school, runs a flagship 40 week course for those who want to reach a professional level in Boatbuilding. Rubbing shoulders with the career changers on the long courses are small groups of people from all walks of life, learning similar skills on 2-5 day courses. There is a great vibe in the workshops and it is hard to imagine a more salty spot to learn new skills, without going to sea

“Give me More Confidence in Working with Wood”

In anticipation of your needs, The Boat Building Academy also have some courses that focus on some of basic woodwork skills, right through to advanced joinery and specialist woodwork techniques. The tutors are either boat builders or furniture makers (or sometimes both)

You wont find these courses amongst Classic Sailing ‘voyages and courses’ as they are a bit ‘off piste’ for sailing holiday company, but you can book them with us. They fit very well with skill set you might need for the boat building courses, and are handy for anyone who wants to be a better wood worker.

We encourage you to take advantage of the 5% discount with your boat building course to add a woodwork, or even furniture making course to your repetoire.

Woodwork Courses at the BBA

All Boat Building Academy courses exclude accommodation but there is a wide range of choice in the Lyme Regis area and sometimes accommodation on site can be booked.

Introduction to woodworking

An absolute beginners introduction to hand tools and materials used by woodworkers. This is a practical 2 day course with some very basic bench work.

13-14th April 2023 (£295 for 2 days)

Woodworking skills 1

Set solid foundations in tool sharpening, wood selection, and preparation. Make basic joints including mitres, halvings, and mortice and tenons. An intensive course for novices as well as those with a little experience. You will make a simple picture frame to take away.

17-21st April 2023 (£595 for 5 days)

Woodwork skills 2

Through and lapped dove tail joints demystified. Learn the setting out and cutting of hand made dovetails. You will make a simple dovetailed box with sliding lid to take away.

24-28th April 2023 (£595 for 5 days)

Green wood chair making

Learn the basics of green woodworking including cleaving and conversion of an ash log, as well as steam bending, drying and construction. At the end of the week, you will take away a chair of your own. Cost of materials covered in the course fee.

21-25th August 2023 (£595 for 5 days)


No woodwork skills are required to learn the intricate art of marquetry. With thin veneers of wood make simple motives before progressing to more complex designs. You will also learn parquerty, shading and finishing techniques. Take home at least 2 coasters, a decorative panel and some of the tools to produce them.

4-8th September 2023 (£695 for 5 days)

Antique Furniture Restoration

Learn how to restore and repair antique furniture, reviving original patinstion and finishes. Guided by master restorer Chris Booth, you will reduce furniture to component parts, clean and repair joints, match veneers, and stringing for colour and quality. Also how to revive brassware and other decorations. Please bring a small to medium piece of furniture to work on. Any queries contact the BBA office before confirming your reservation with payment.

11-15th September 2023 (£695 for 5 days)

Bench making – Make your own cabinet makers workbench

Build and take away a cabinet makers work bench of a design that we use in our very own woodworking workshop. The course includes timer fr a pine bench wih plywood shelves as well as vices and dogs. There may be an opportunity to tailor the bench. Reserve a place and chat with the BBA office about your ideas/ alternative timber before confirming with payment.

31 July to 4 Aug 2023 (£975 for 5 days)

Routing – How to use a Router Power Tool

An introduction to the safe use of routers: direction of cut, holding the workpiece, PPE and dust control. Different methods of using a router:-guided, handheld, free-hand and table mounted. Key points in setting up, base types, selecting appropriate cutters and speed, 1/4″ or 1/2″ shank. Different types of guided cutting, bearings, inserts, and specialist equipment like trammels. How to set up and use jigs and templates for different cuts and implications for cutter types.

7-9th Aug 2023 (£450 for 3 days)

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