Class of February 2018
The Class of February 2018 are the first group in the Academy’s 21 year history to have been snowed out in their first week. We think they’re only the second group to have been snowed out at all. The weather is usually balmy in the South West.
They are also the first to join the new 40 week course… which is the 38 week course with the addition of a week of ‘Sail Making and Repair’ and a week of ‘Marine Systems’.
The group range in age and nationality and they’re going to build an interesting range of boats when they take over the main workshop in June.
- 15’ cold moulded Bermudian sloop Class Association Albacore – Steven Black
- 15’ Ian Richardson traditional clinker Westray skiff – Alastair Inglis
- 16′ glued clinker Chestnut Prospector canoe designed by Ted Moores – Roger Gray
- 16′ glued clinker Francois Vivier ‘IIur’ Gunter Sloop dayboat – Hugo Desmons
- 16’9” strip plank Bailey Whitehall skiff – Sean Glynn
- 17’2” stitch and glue Classic 17 fast angler with outboard motor – Steve Hewins
- 18′ Dixon Kemp carvel Mersey racing boat after ‘Zinnia’ – Tom Hopper
Alastair has extensive sailing experience and has been part of several key boat maintenance projects. He attended a short course at the Academy in 2005, taught by the legendary Jack Chippendale, where he went on to restore a 1970’s Merlin Rocket. Alastair volunteered at three different boatyards to make sure that the boat building course was right for him. He recently renovated a Renault 1989 Dodge 50 Series truck.
Elly worked as a bicycle as a bicycle courier delivering coffee beans but wanted to learn a traditional craft. She arrived at the Academy from London by bike and instantly knew that the course was for her. Elly is looking forward to a career in woodwork and where that might take her.
Gary O’ Donoghue
Now retired, Gary joined the boat building course as a way of familiarising himself with coastal living, as he hopes to relocate closer to the sea with his wife. He looks forward to learning new skills and craft as the courses goes on.
Hugo worked in garden design for twelve years, co-owning a successful garden design/construction business in London. Practical and hardworking, Hugo wants to master woodworking. His other interests include furniture-making, skiing, scuba diving and cooking.
Jorge has a background in economics and worked as Sales Director for a polyester yarn producer in Spain. Looking for a change in his life, he joined the Academy with the aim of learning new skills which he can apply to his future adventures.
‘Although I have travelled all the roads, crossed mountains and valleys from East to West, if I have not discovered the freedom to be myself then I have arrived nowhere’.
Luke grew up around boats and has never been too far away from water. For the last two years he worked as a water sports instructor in the UK and France. He studied Yacht and Power Craft Design at Solent University and now wants to engage with boat building and design on a much more practical level.
Mark worked as a civil servant in the Ministry of Defence for almost 20 years, during which time he worked extensively with all three armed services. After realising he had spent a large part of his career sat at a desk, Mark ‘retired’ early and joined the Academy to take his career in a completely different direction.
Martin worked as the Director of International and European affairs for a large business organisation in France. Looking to start a radically different career, he joined the course to gain a better understanding of the design and construction of boats. Martin is a keen rower and is a board member of the Limoges rowing club and of the regional rowing league.
Paolo Da Luz
Before joining the Academy Paolo, from Italy, worked as an apprentice at a Social Carpenter’s Association and as a photographer’s assistant. He has been a scout since aged 8 and remains active as an educator for young children. In his spare time Paolo enjoys cycling, mountain trekking and has a keen interest in mechanics.
Roger recently retired from the NHS after more than thirty years of working as an ophthalmologist. He wants to build on his hobbies of woodworking and the building of small boat and expand his skillset.
Sam discovered the boat building course online and after paying a visit to the Academy decided it was time for a break from his career to try something new.
Sean was keen to join the course and to gain the knowledge and practical skills that will be useful when sailing around the world with his wife. Sean worked for the MoD and as Chief Executive of the Chief Fire Officers Association, the body that represents senior Fire Officers in the UK. When not sailing, Sean can be found on his mountain bike or playing rugby.
Steve first came to the Academy on a Woodworking Skills course in 2012. He had worked as a swimming instructor, upholsterer and groundskeeper. After the woodworking course he went back to his home in Cheshire, but in November 2013 we asked him if he would like to come back as the Boat Building Academy Technician. He did and has worked here ever since. The Academy is funding him through the course because we know Steve’s a great investment for the future of the Academy. Steve’s delighted that for the next nine months he’ll be working unbelievably hard. Long hours… weekends…
A keen sailor all his life, Steven got the boat building bug during a winter refurbishing an ancient Albacore dinghy with his best mate until unfortunately they wrecked it. Since then, Steven has had a variety of non-boat building jobs, including accounting, luxury watches, lift displays and specialist logistics. After 15 years in Singapore, Steven recently moved back, and at last has a chance to rekindle his interest in building boats, and will replace the Albacore sunk all those years ago.
Thomas worked in IT but didn’t enjoy as much as he hoped it would. He is now pursuing his love of woodworking into a new career.
After spending a year travelling Tom joined the boat building course with an open mind, he’s not sure yet where the skills will take him. Tom previously worked in a classic car garage as an apprentice, working his way up to workshop manager. Tom recently completed a solo cycling trek of New Zealand.
Tony has been a teacher for the last twenty years, before that working for the The Times and as a self-employed plumber. He is currently on a sabbatical from teaching and comes to the course as a way of restoring his energies and learning some new practical skills. Tony is a big music fan, he records his own songs and plays in a three-piece rock band.