THE latest class from Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy will launch their boats on Wednesday, December 4.
The class of February 2019 will celebrate the end of their 40-week course as six boats and two paddle boards are launched into Lyme Regis harbour.
The boats include a 16’ traditional clinker sailing boat, an 8’ sailing dinghy, a 16’ lug- rigged sailing boat, a 16’ traditional coble fishing boat and two canoes – one traditional clinker, the other strip-planked.
All the boats have been built by the students as part of their training over the last six months. The class spend about 12 weeks working on their foundation skills before moving down to the main workshop to start work on their boat projects.
The Class of February 2019 are a diverse group; most have come from all corners of the UK, with some hailing from as far as Switzerland and Greece. Regardless of their backgrounds, they have all come together for one reason – to learn how to build boats.
The students work on the boats every step of the way, from sourcing plans and lofting (drawing the boats to full-size in cross-sectional views), laying the backbone and planking to fit-out and finishing. Though comprehensive and challenging in scope, the course is open to anyone over the age of 18. There is no skill requirement or entry exam; all that is asked for is enthusiasm and determination.
Men and women from all different backgrounds and occupations come to the academy for training. For most, enrolling on the course is the first step into a new career direction – perhaps to work as a boat builder or to start up a business of their own. For others, the course might serve as a sabbatical from a comfortable desk job or perhaps to brush up on practical skills – even just for the sheer enjoyment!
All are welcome to join the academy celebrating the achievements of the students as they launch their boats. The first boat is due in the water at 10am after congratulatory speeches.