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Introduction to Boatbuilding

Course price

Price per person

Available

£295

Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Mon 19-06-2023, 08:30Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis Tue 20-06-2023, 17:30Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis The Boat Building Academy 1 NightsBBA190623

Midsummer on the waterfront in Lyme Regis

Do you have a dream about building a boat or kayak?
Ever wondered what thwarts or gunwhales are?
Wondering what boat construction method would be easiest to learn?
Enthralled by clinker dinghies but how do the pieces go together?

This introductory course looks at how boats are shaped and why, explains the terminology and compares the construction methods you can use to build curvy, sexy boats – whether you are interested in motorboats, sail boats or the simplicity of rowing your own boat. Find out the pros and cons of traditional solid wood skills, laminates and modern materials and techniques.

This is a classroom based course covering a huge subject matter, but you are surrounded by real life boat building projects going on around you in this historic building. Workshop walkabouts with your tutor and strolls to the harbour and Cornish Pilot Gig shed mean legs are regularly stretched.

This course is taught ashore at the Boat Building Academy, Lyme Regis. The college is right on the waterfront at Monmouth Beach, yards from the sea and the famous Cobb Harbour, immortalised in the film ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’. The college building has a real buzz to it with career students from all over the world on longer courses in professional boat building or furniture making.

You might like to combine this course with another and save 5% on course fees. See the voyage description for combination suggestions.

There is no upper age limit or skill requirement to join a short course or the longer courses. Accommodation is not included but plenty of options locally.

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Ideal Course for:

Absolutely anyone with an interest in rowing, sailing or motorboats, or 3 dimensional detail and design.

There is no upper age limit and this course is more theoretical than most of the BBA courses.

You do not need woodworking skills in order to book this rewarding course, but you might end up itching to pick up some tools and learn.

Those wanting to explore the possibilities of the boat that you may one day build or repair.

A gift for a friend or a treat for yourself

Course Content

  • Learning terminology & design from real boat examples
  • lead by a boat building tutor
  • small group teaching
  • workshop tours – see boat building in action
  • Intro to different construction methods & materials, propulsion options from oars to sail and motor, sails and types of rig.

The Boat Building Academy

Vessel type / Rig Educational Establishment
Guest Berths 18
Beam Workshops
Draft Two Story
Deck Length Shorter
Overall Length Long
Year Built 1997
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

Taking shape

Taking shape

 

FULL COURSE DESCRIPTION

Boat Building Academy – Introduction to Boat Building – 2 day Course

Ever wondered what thwarts or gunwhales are?

Wondering what boat construction method would be easiest to learn?

Enthralled by clinker dinghies but how do the pieces go together?

This introductory course looks at how boats are shaped and why. You learn the terminology of shipwrights and boat builders; A language that has evolved through the centuries from thwarts and sheer strakes right up to modern day techniques like cold molding. A big part of the course is looking a different construction types and there are usually plenty of boats in build or repair to examine.

This is a classroom based course but workshop walkabouts and strolls to the harbour, or pilot gig shed to look at clinker construction details or dinghy and fishing boat hull shapes are part of the unique experience. The course also looks at material choices, propulsion options, sails, rigs and rigging.

The Boat Building Academy is located on Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis so you are a stones throw from a beach full of fossils, spectacular Jurassic Coast cliffs and the famous Cobb Harbour. The college building has a real buzz to it. There are students there from all over the world. The majority are living on site and on a 40 week professional boat building course or 12 week furniture making course. They may have started their career change path on a short course at the college, just like you.

You might like to combine this course with another and save 5% on course fees. See the voyage description for combination suggestions.

There is no upper age limit or skill requirement to join a short course or the longer courses. Accommodation is not included but plenty of options locally.

The College by the Sea

The Boat Building Academy is located on Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis so you are a stones throw from a beach full of fossils, spectacular Jurassic Coast cliffs and the famous Cobb Harbour. The college building has a real buzz to it. There are students there from all over the world on a 40 week professional boat building course or 12 week furniture making course. They may have started their career change path on a short course at the college, just like you.

Wild Boy in construction at the Boat Building Academy
coming on

Book 2 courses & Save 5% – Our Combo suggestion

You might like to combine this course with another and save 5% on course fees. See the voyage description for combination suggestions.

Build a Boat – Initial Set Up

A 5 day course doing the most exciting bit of boat building. Starting the process. Creating a building jig and building the backbone of your boat. First part of the skeleton. In this case you are setting up for a clinker boat (same method – whether it is for traditional copper rove nail wood planks or glued plywood), and discussions on how to set up for carvel, cold molded or strip plank builds.

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Where Can I Stay?

Accommodation is not included but plenty of options locally. The College can send you a list of possible B&B, lodgings, camping, or hotels.

The BBA building is at the quieter end of the beachfront, but only 5 minutes walk to the East lies the harbour with cafes, pubs and waterside restaurants. Walk further along the promenade and there is a park with great sea views to enjoy a picnic and the main high street and food shops behind.

The main beaches are sandy and great for an evening swim to wash the sawdust away.

Debbies View: Why this Short Course is Awesome

Co-founder of Classic Sailing Debbie Purser spent 40 weeks at the Boat Building Academy in 2020-21 and built a 16ft spritsail yawl called ‘Wild Boy.’ She knows the tutors and has an inisders view. In a nutshell, this is why Debbie thinks this course is awesome:

“Because you can ask questions about virtually every aspect of boat building from a tutor who is employed to educate the public and complete novices, and also teaches professional boat building for the industry. It’s a passion for them and you might find the whole topic rather addictive….”

Start & End Port

Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis

Review

‘I am a boat builder’.

When I heard about the BBA – only a few miles along the coast from Weymouth, I had to investigate.  To be honest, when I visited, it all seemed wonderful, but so far from anything I’d ever done before that I didn’t know if it would be the right place for me, but then some friends offered to lend me half the fees, and I just couldn’t refuse their generosity.

Before the BBA, I’d never used a jigsaw, nor a plane or chisel, and I have almost no memory of woodworking class at school, however the instructors were so helpful and clear in their instruction that I quickly picked up the basic skills. Then came lofting, and my ever migraine, but it was still an amazing experience! I had been sailing off the West coast of Scotland before going to the BBA, and had fallen in love with the old wooden boats I’d seen, and wanted to work on something traditional, so it was great to be able to participate in the build of a 17′ 8″ clinker Pilchard Larker; an open working boat….

I feel very lucky to have been able to attend a school like the BBA, and then to go on and be employed by two of the world’s top luxury boat builders, without having any other previous experience in the industry.  The BBA gave me a mass of skills (many of which I had never heard of before); a love of making things, and a career and a direction for my life.  I may not be living on a boat yet, but when people ask me what I do, I can now confidently say; ‘I am a boat builder’.

After the course Ben worked for Spirit Yachts and Sunseeker.

For me, attending the BBA was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The pace is massively intense and the teaching is very no nonsense with a commercial focus but it is up to each student to put as much in as they want to take away.  I put in a massive amount and graduated with so much from a beautiful boat to a life changing career and some great friends.  It is also great to still have a link with the BBA when I return to carry out our epoxy talks and see what other students are building with our products.

The full boat building course was an amazing experience, it challenged me both mentally and physically. When I began the course I had absolutely no wood working skills and by the end of the nine months at the BBA I was able to confidently work with wood and was the proud builder/owner of a 13′ larch on oak clinker rowing punt.

The course provided me with a range of practical skills that has enabled me to gain a foothold in the wooden boatbuilding industry and latterly has enabled me to be offered a three year funded PhD researching the Shetland Boat: its history; folklore and construction.

I left the BBA in December 2008 and I have been impressed by the continued encouragement and support the team have provided me.  When in Lyme Regis I always enjoy popping-in for a welcoming chat and a cup of tea.”  Marc’s boat ‘Defiant’ was centrepiece of the ‘Boats that Built Britain’ exhibition at the National Maritime Museum Greenwich that accompanied the BBC series of the same name.

Information of Marc’s NMM exhibition appearance can be found on the National Maritime Museum website.  Read his PHD blog here www.shetlandboat.wordpress.com

The 10 month course really appealed to me as I didn’t want to spend several years at college not earning.  I wanted to be exposed to new tasks quickly and pick up the skills then move on to the next job.  Sometimes in education you feel that the tutors are talking for the sake of talking.  I never got that feeling at the BBA.  They are all like minded people who have had to get things done as quickly and as easily as possible in the real world and want you to be able to do the same. 

The second half of the course is mostly building boats from scratch. Whilst doing this you are learning all the time, even if you don’t realise it.  You can be sanding for 5 hours but you have learned not to put so much filler on next time!  Your personal progression is clear from the quality and speed at which you complete jobs as the course moves on.  First time it might take a whole day, second time you might be finished by lunchtime and you wonder what took you so long before.  Before you know it you are tackling something you would never have dreamed of doing and it turns out really well.  Being immersed in the whole boat building environment and just walking around the workshop is a valuable experience each day.  You can see how others have approached similar tasks and benefit from their mistakes and vice versa.

Your college has set the benchmark for the future of training craftsmen, which has long been the biggest worry of traditional boat builders and repairers. You  deserve to go from strength to strength, and I for one will recommend it to anyone looking for a career in our industry.

Tom Richardson, Owner of Elephant Boatyard, Hampshire

My visit to the Academy was truly inspirational. I found the energy and commitment of the staff to be second to none. Their dedication to their craft and the students, and their passion for excellence in design and technical skills, clearly explains the success rates that the Academy has, and the very high level of results achieved by the students. You truly are a centre for excellence in your field!

Chris Humphries, then Director General of City & Guilds

I attended a three day Clinker Boat Maintenance and Repair Course some years ago. The knowledge has proven extremely useful. The skills I am still working on !

Adam Purser, Director Classic Sailing

Vessel Gallery

The flagship 40 week Boat Building course teaches men and women how to build boats to industry standards.

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