38 week Boat Building, Maintenance and Support course

City and Guilds logo

The 38 week Boat Building, Maintenance and Support course, incorporating City & Guilds 2463 Level 3 Diploma in Marine Construction, Systems Engineering and Maintenance (the technical certificate of an apprenticeship) is our flagship course.  It gives students the skills to find jobs in the marine industry or establish themselves as boat builders in their own right, although some students join the course for a sabbatical or on retirement and have no plans to work in the marine industry.

Boat Building Academy Workshop

There is no upper age limit and the course caters for those changing career (at whatever age) as well as the school leaver.  You do not need woodworking skills in order to apply (everyone starts from the same point – the beginning) but a mature attitude, motivation, a high level of commitment and willingness to pursue the highest standards are vital.

The syllabus goes way beyond the requirements of the City & Guilds qualification, giving comprehensive practical instruction covering traditional and modern wood construction methods and composites, as well as allied skills (e.g. wooden boat restoration and oar making).  The course is 92% practical.

Pip Emma replica Giles Morgan 16At the beginning of each course there is a group discussion with instructors about what boats will be built by the group.  The builds will cover a range of construction methods and be up to a maximum of 16 foot in length (although exceptions are made, depending on workshop space and other boats being built). Some students may prefer to concentrate on one build, but all students are required to work on the whole range of craft in order to get as much practical experience of different boat building techniques as possible.

The combination of the City & Guilds qualification and building a range of boats chosen for their educational value is unique to the Academy.  If you are considering joining the course you should be aware that the training is intensive and demanding, requiring a high level of commitment.  Due to the small size of our school and high tutor to student ratio we take only eighteen students on each ‘long’ course.

Course dates

There are two start dates per year and we allocate places to students on a first-come-first-served basis on receipt of a completed application form. Dates for the next courses are:

  • 21 August 2017 – 1 June 2018
  • 26 February 2018 – 23 November 2018
  • 20 August 2018 – 31 May 2019

Course Content

The ‘long’ course commences with a six week joinery foundation course.  Once people have their joinery skills in place the syllabus covers the following skill areas:

  • Lofting
  • Traditional Boatbuilding
  • Modern Wooden Boatbuilding
  • Fibre Reinforced Plastic Boatbuilding and Fit Out
  • Yacht Joinery
  • Spar and Oar Making
  • Engine Beds and Stern Tubes
  • Finishing Coatings and Compounds
  • Rigging, Chandlery and Cordage

Groups move from the upstairs workshop and become the ‘downstairs’ group in the main workshop after three months.  It is at this stage that they start building their group boats.

For more detailed information about the course content please download our prospectus.  Read testimonials from our graduates.

People

Find out more about who joins our courses by taking a look at our boat building students page. This page gives details of our many of our past classes, including individual profiles for almost 300 of our past students – where they came from, what they did, and why they decided to join the course. The paths students take after the course are as diverse as the students themselves – take a look at our Graduate Case Studies page for a details on what a representative sample of our graduates are doing now.

 

16Build your own boat

If you would like to build your own boat as part of the course please go to ‘Boats‘ or view our prospectus for further details.

To browse the range of boats built here at the Academy see our Boats Archive.  See and follow the build of boats that our currently in the workshops on the Current Boats page.

Details of our past and upcoming Launch Days – everyone is welcome to join us –
Events, Future Events, News.

 

Training tomorrow's craftsmen >