Celebrate with the Boat Building Academy’s Class of March 2014 as they launch boats built as part of their intensive 38 week training for the first time into Lyme Regis Harbour. Five boats built in just six months will be walked in procession from the Academy’s workshops on Monmouth Beach to Lyme Regis harbour at 1200 on Wednesday 3rd December. Mayor of Lyme Regis Sally Holman and Director of the Academy Tim Gedge will say a few words before the pop of champagne corks mark the first boat’s launch into the water.
The student boat builders came to Lyme Regis to join the Academy’s full-time intensive ‘Boat Building, Maintenance and Support’ course from places as local as Bridport to as far away as America and Brazil. Of all ages and from a wide range of backgrounds the launch marks the end of their course. They all started as beginners with little or no woodworking experience but graduate with the practical skills and industry recognised level 3 qualification needed to work as boat builders, restorers or repairers. Some will go on to work in the Marine Industry, with wood or composite boats, some will return to their careers after a break learning practical skills and one or two will leave having fulfilled a lifelong dream.
The boats built using traditional and modern construction techniques include a traditional clinker Thames Skiff, stitch and glued outboard-powered Broome runabout, glued clinker Beg Meil design gaff-rigged dinghy and a glued clinker Fleet Trow.
Student Will Shillingford, a former Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers’ armourer from Hemel Hempstead has a job lined up at Michael Dennett Boat Builders in Chertsey. He says, “I’ve really enjoyed this course, have made new friends and learnt new skills. I’d recommend it to anyone”.
Come rain or winter sunshine the staff and students at the Boat Building Academy invite everyone to join them to celebrate the students’ achievements, the end of the course and the start of their new careers as boat builders.
For more details about the Class of March 2014 and for a preview of the boats, there are profiles and photographic diaries on the Academy’s website at www.boatbuildingacademy.com
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