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Skills for Traditional Boat Building

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Price per person

Available

£695

Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Mon 03-07-2023, 08:30Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis Fri 07-07-2023, 17:30Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis The Boat Building Academy 4 NightsBBA030723

Ed is so happy to fit the last carvel plank!


Gain insight and practical experience of the construction of carvel and clinker craft. This is traditional boatbuilding so if you want to use planes, chisels, experience the noisy banging of fastening planks with copper nails and roves then this is a course designed to get you hooked. If you would love to do the 40 week course but can only afford a 5 day course, then this taster is probably the one that ticks all the right boxes.

Learning to sharpen tools is an important part of the course will improve your work immediately. The fundamental skills of scarfing, fitting planks, rivetting planks and steaming the timbers or planks in a steam box are taught practically. If you haven’t done the setting up course, then don’t worry as setting up your building jig and connecting the stem, keel and sternpost is covered too.

Lyme Regis also do short courses in modern wooden boatbuilding if you are more interested in constructing boats quickly with laminated timber, stitch ad glue panels or strip planking.

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.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel

Ideal Course for:

Woodwork beginners who want to learn how to use hand tools, experienced woodworkers who want to learn boat building, sailors & boat owners with wooden boats that might need repairing, artisans wanting to try traditional construction techniques, or perhaps a gift for a friend or a treat for yourself.

Course Content

  • How to sharpen chisels and plane irons
  • lead by a boat building tutor
  • small group teaching 4 nights and 5 full days
  • workshop tours – see boat building in action
  • how to measure, cut out, and fit clinker and carvel planks.
  • bevelling the edges for a close fit
  • steaming planks or ribs
  • rivetting with copper nails and roves

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


Copper fastened clinker dinghy

 

FULL COURSE DESCRIPTION

Skills for Traditional Wooden Boat Building 

Gain practical experience in traditional wooden boat building in 5 days. This short course will teach you how to sharpen tools as it is so fundamental to wooden boat building, but after that it jumps straight in the deep end with some of the most exciting and challenging aspects of making curvy 3 dimensional wooden boats without glue, GRP or epoxy.

You learn scarfing as the plank shape is often like a banana and it is more efficient use of timber stock to cut and join 2 pieces of timber for one plank run. Being able to plane a bevel angle on the side of a plank is important too.

Lining out the planking is where you decide on how many planks each side and how to make then look fair. Very important for clinker and lots of tricks to learn.

The techniques for rivetting a carvel plank is very different from a clinker plank as the outside of the hull will have to be faired (create a curved surface shape). Hopefully you will have a chance to do a bit of both, but the teamwork for clinker rivetting using dollys, rove punches and good communication is great to get the hang of.

We use steam boxes to make the green wood timbers supple and bendy and sometimes a plank in situ will be steamed in a bag to then bend into place.

Even if you don’t get to do everything in the 5 days there are usually plenty of on going projects to go and look at on the ground floor where the long 40 week course students are building several boats.

 

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.

clinker – there are ‘GERALDS’ UNDER THERE

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.

Modern Wooden Boat building – 5 day short course

This is still working with wood, but using more modern approaches that are generally cheaper and easier to build. Learn how to make timber with the right curve for a stem or knee by laminating it. Try stitch and glue techniques similar to kit boat builds. try glued clinker, strip planking and cold molding techniques.

link

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.

Debbie’s 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:

“A heap of challenging techniques in 5 days. It sounds like boat building. You can smell the wood. You have to cut it, shape it, bend it and fasten it…..and make it into a waterproof boat without glue. “

BloWING THE SAWDUST AWAY

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

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

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