Class of February 2017
On 27 February 2017 a disparate group of fifteen people met in the lofting room. Among them were a sound recordist, an outdoor skills instructor, a yurt builder, the principal clarinetist of the Band of the Coldstream Guards, a laundry owner, someone who composes music for television and a former apprentice from Princess Yachts. There was the young man who worked for B & Q after his ‘A’ Levels to raise the fee and a ship broker who had just semi-retired (he’s far too young to fully retire). They have some things in common… they want to be woodworkers and learn how to build good boats.
They’re now down on the main workshop floor, operating as a great team. It’s a pleasure to work with them. We expect great things when they launch their boats on 23 November.
At 11 years old Charlie is the oldest of the student dogs. He loves to go lobster potting with his owner Steve Harrison.
Frank, a wire haired Dachshund, belongs to student Sam Smith. Frank is smitten with Pip. He hopes his dapper bow ties and pullovers will impress her.
Pretty Pip belongs to student Sam Sheppard. She climbs (chair, desk, book case to get to a box of biscuits – she did share them with the other three dogs), jumps (onto the Principal’s desk in one bound) and, despite his pullovers, tolerates Frank’s total devotion.
Having had a short career writing music, followed by a decade in TV, Angus became a house husband looking after his three children. With the children nearly grown-up he decided it was time for a change. He loves the sea and boats and has a passion for working with his hands and building things from scratch. Angus spent time as a volunteer, coppicing a sustainably managed woodland, which included spoon carving, bowl lathe turning and sustainable building techniques.
Benji Espinoza McLeod
Benji studied film and media at college but decided it wasn’t for him. Inspired by what he saw on the Boat Building Academy website Benji decided to follow his passion for woodworking and the sea. Having lived in Spain for many years Benji is inspired by the lifestyle of the Spanish communities which is driven by craftsmen. Benji’s hobbies include Fencing and Kickboxing.
With a background in graphic design and photography Christopher decided he had had enough of sitting in front of a computer so enrolled on the 38 week Boat Building course. As well as his passion for craftsmanship Christopher enjoys photography, books, canoeing and travel.
Having travelled and worked in Australia followed by a degree in English and Philosophy David founded his own business designing and building modern yurts which he has exhibited at Glastonbury. However, David decided it was time for a change and that he would like to pursue a career in the marine industry.
Giles worked in the electronics business for 20 years before joining the Boat Building Academy. An aspiration he’d had for a number of years. Giles enjoys a range of hobbies including sailing, surfing, music and food.
Jake, the youngest member of his class completed a Level 3 Diploma in Music Performance before joining the Boat Building Academy. Jake is a qualified RYA Dinghy Instructor and has got RYA powerboat level 2. In his spare time Jake loves sailing, dinghy racing, playing guitar and woodworking.
Before joining the 38 week Boat Building course Jamie was working as an IT Manager for a charity but decided it was time for a change. Jamie comes from a sailing family and is also qualified to teach sailing. We first met Jamie when he spent five days at the Academy on our Antique Furniture Restoration short course.
Before joining the 38 week Boat Building course Jon completed a carpentry course and went on to work as an apprentice for Princess Yachts in Plymouth. After the course Jon would like to work in the Super Yachts industry and travel. Keeping it in the family, Jon’s step father Steve is on the same course as Jon.
Lee has always had an interest in boats and so when he saw the Boat Building Academy on a visit to Lyme Regis he decided to find out more about the 38 week Boat Building course. Having spent 10 years running a laundry business Lee was ready for a change in his life and wanted to do something that was hands on and practical, so joined the course enabling him to start a career in the marine industry. Lee and his wife are expecting their first baby while Lee is on the course.
Rod Anderson Boyle
Before joining the 38 week Boat Building course Rod ran his own business teaching bushcraft and outdoor skills, including teaching children how to make and fix wooden tools. He has a degree in furniture production with management studies.
Before joining the Boat Building Academy Sam spent 9 years in the Navy including four years as a Leading Seaman. Sam decided that he wanted a change of career and rather than being sat behind a desk he would rather be at the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis to pursue a career in the marine industry.
Before joining the Boat Building Academy Sam spent 10 years in the army as Principal clarinet of Her Majesty’s Coldstream Guards Band. As well as his love of travelling having visited Asia, Australia and New Zealand Sam is a keen sailor. He has the RYA powerboat levels 1 and 2, and RYA Competent Crew qualifications.
A shipbroker by trade, Simon spent 40 years running his own business in marine recruitment, mostly Eastern European seafarers. Simon is a keen sailor, having bought a Fireball from Jack Chippendale, sailed on the Winston Churchill 3 masted vessel and now currently owns a boat in the Mediterranean. Before joining the 38 week Boat Building course Simon attended the Academy’s 5 day Basic Woodworking course.
Steve grew up around boat building in Devon. After studying P.E and a career in the police force Steve decided it was time for a change and enrolled on the 38 week Boat Building course. He lives on a farm near Honiton with his partner Jane his son James and step son Jon who is also on the 38 week Boat Building course. Steve plans to add his boat building skills to his furniture and woodworking business.
Before joining the 38 week Boat Building course Tom worked in London as a sound recordist, making corporate videos and documentaries. He decided life is too short to spend it in a job you don’t enjoy so it was time for a change of career as he wanted to work more with his hands. Inspired by a previous graduate of the Academy, Tom knew as soon as he visited the workshops this was the place for him.