Class of February 2016
On February 29th 2016 a group of people from a variety of countries and backgrounds met each other for the first time in the Boat Building Academy lofting room. With students travelling from as far afield as Austria and Costa Rica there has been no shortage of topics of conversation.
Not everyone who joins the Academy wants to be featured on the website, hence the relatively few student profiles on this page.
Alfred is a mixed media visual artist who works with paint, films, and glassblowing. Alfred also enjoys food-scaping and permaculture. He has lived in Costa Rica for the past 10 years. Alfred would like the course to be the beginning of a lifelong relationship with boat building and hopes one day to sail the world.
At university Chris studied ancient history and archaeology with a special interest in traditional maritime craftsmanship. He then worked in the outdoor pursuits industry, both freelance and employed, at watersports centres in the UK and abroad.
Connor was on an engineering course in Essex. He will gain hands-on experience from the course which is the first step in his boat building career.
Harry left school at 16 knowing he wanted to work with his hands but unsure in which industry. He worked for Permateek, a Poole Company specialising in synthetic boat decking and teak removal. Harry realised he wanted to work in the marine industry, but was thrown slightly off course by a motorbike accident in 2014 in which he sustained a serious leg injury. Although his recovery took a while Harry did not forget his boat building dream, which he is now fulfilling at the Academy.
Stefanie Bielowski was project manager for an NGO, a yacht skipper in the Adriatic and prepared a Lagoon 450 for her longest transfer from Langkawi to the Australian Gold Coast. Stef joined the course to broaden and improve her skills.
Thomasin spent a year living and working in Japan as part of her degree in Japanese (with Korean). As her course came to a close she realised that the lure of boats, the sea and her need to work with wood could no longer be ignored. The day after graduation she came to the BBA for interview. Thomasin says “It felt like coming home”. Her dream is to open a boatyard and, if the wind blows in the right direction, take the beauty of traditional British boat building to Japan.
Thomasin is writing a weekly blog about her ’Boat Building Academy Experience’ at www.thomasin-sage.com.
A scientist and former Chartered Engineer, with experience in the mining, steel, and offshore industries, Toby hopes to swap the laboratory for a boatyard at the end of the course. He is enjoying the variety of challenges posed by the course, whether it is the intellectual aspects of visualising and lofting complicated three-dimensional structures or the practical skills of boatbuilding. He looks forward to cooperating with other course members on the five projects being constructed this course.