The Boat Building Academy provides full-time, highly practical skills training with the emphasis on ‘hands-on’ learning. The school was founded in 1997 by Commander Tim Gedge, who is still a Director.
The Academy is an approved Royal Yachting Association training centre, on the provider’s list for Professional and Career Development Loans, a member of the British Marine Federation and an approved City & Guilds centre.
Administrators Janine Cashin or George Kingsley are usually the first point of contact for people hoping to join the Academy.
Longer courses have City & Guilds certification attached but the training goes far beyond City & Guilds requirements. All students who successfully complete a course receive a Boat Building Academy certificate.
In recent years the Academy has developed a programme of woodworking courses which are not boat-related but are based on the same philosophy as the boat building training; intensive and highly practical development of skills. In the same way that ‘long’ boat building course students learn by building boats, 12 week Fine Woodworking students design and make a piece of furniture as part of their course. In partnership with awarding body PIABC the Academy has developed and delivers a level 3 Diploma ‘Fine Woodworking incorporating Furniture Design’ which is mapped against the Qualifications and Credit Framework and certificated by the awarding body).
All courses are full-time, working from 0830 to 1730, five days a week. Classes are under the direct supervision of at least one Instructor at all times during the working week. Students also have access to workshops in the evening and at weekends. The Academy does not close for the summer.