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The Women’s Workshop – Introduction to woodworking

Course price

Price per person

Available

£695

Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Mon 28-04-2025, 08:30Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis Fri 02-05-2025, 16:00Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis The Boat Building Academy 4 NightsBBA280425

With boatbuilder Amy Stringfellow


Have you always wanted to learn woodworking skills?

The Boat Building Academy has a 5 day course for women only. Learn woodworking in an inclusive and relaxed environment with boat builder Amy Stringfellow. You will be guided through the basics of woodworking, including joinery, steam bending and furniture making. You will use your new skills to make your own table with steam bent legs.

A very hands on practical course in a small group where you can ask lots of questions about the tasks in hand. It is also a great opportunity to check out the Boat Building Academy. They run a range of short courses in both specialist boat building techniques and wooodwork and furniture making skills, once you are hooked. Also if you are really inspired into a career change then you can also train professionally here to be a boat builder or furniture maker.

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:

Any woman wanting to try woodworking for the first time, or put a bit of finesse on existing practical skills. If you want to be able to pick up a saw, chisel or drill with confidence, and fix and make things functional and beautiful with wood then this could take you to a different level. Come and lose yourself in the focus needed to learn skills relevant for carpentry, boat building and repair, art and furniture making.

PS we do run courses for men and women too.

All courses at BBA

Course Highlights

  • great gift for sister, grandmothers, daughters, friends
  • lead by Amy Stringfellow – chat to a boatbuilder
  • small group teaching
  • see boat building students in action – in the same building
  • create your own piece of furniture
  • learn about joints and steam bending

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

using woodwork tools

 

FULL COURSE DESCRIPTION

Boat Building Academy – Women’s Workshop – Introduction to woodworking

Introducing Amy and the Women’s Workshops

Amy Stringfellow is a boat building tutor, sailor and woodworker.  Recently she has been a bit of a mover and shaker at Cornwall Marine Network to help the boat building industry create more on the job apprenticeships and training. Her Instagram profile amy_boatbuilding describes herself as “co-director of @womeninboatbuilding, boatbuilding, woodwork, faffing, climbing and occasionally funny”

Amy ran a successful 4 day Intro to Woodwork course for women at the BBA last year. It was in association with @womeninboatbuilding – a recently formed group to encourage more women into the boat building industry. (A great Instagram group to join for inspiration and support).

There are probably more women in the furniture making world, but boat building looks like it is catching up fast.

The women attending learned how to use hand tools, machine tools and a few of the big woodwork machinery at the college. By this I mean band saws, big pillar drills, planer-thicknessers and things that need ear defenders and make you feel like a proper boat builder.

 

Why Come on a Woodwork Intro Course?

There is more to life than flat pack furniture and allen keys. Come and lose yourself in the focus needed to learn skills relevant for carpentry, boat building and repair, art and furniture making.

There is only so much you can learn from watching You Tube woodwork and DIY videos (especially as most of them are blokes telling you its easy). The best way to learn a practical skill is to be shown a skill in 3 dimensions and be able to ask questions at the same time. Then practice it and have someone like Amy quietly encourage you. They can also watch you work and stop you picking up any poor techniques as these tools are sharp.

Practical skills that are useful all over the world

If you can bend timber, laminate wood, shape solid wood, create joints like mortice and tenon, or dove tails (or at least know what they look like and how they work) then the possibilities for creating, re-cycling and repairing things in wood is endless.

Every country and culture has carpenters, woodworkers, joiners, boat builders and wood has been sculptured for decorative purposes for centuries. It’s a handy skillset that travels well.

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.

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.

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.

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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The Boat Building Academy

The Women’s Workshop – Introduction to woodworking with boat builder Amy Stringfellow BBA290424

Embark

Mon 28-04-2025

Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis

Disembark

Fri 02-05-2025

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meeting other women and trying woodwork on 5 day intro course

From

£695