Class of February 2019

Arron Kirwan

Arron Kirwan

Arron worked on the Grand Union Canal as a maintenance/repairman, before that he spent a decade in the police. Like Jerry, Arron’s father was a carpenter and he would like to build upon his skillset.

Arthur Stickland

Arthur Stickland

Arthur is the youngest in the class and wishes to follow his two brothers into carpentry. His love of woodwork comes from an appreciation of hand tools, preferring them over power tools.

Chris Blake

Chris Blake

Chris left school to pursue a career in the motor industry but returned to education to train as an electronics engineer. Ultimately Chris enjoyed a 30-year career in the IT industry. His love of boats and the West Country drew him to Lyme Regis and joining the 40-week course.

James Abney-Hastings

James Abney-Hastings

James spent sixteen years as a web developer before becoming a stay at home dad for his two girls. Now that they older, he is looking for another challenge and joined the 40-week course with the aim of working with either boats or wood after the course.

Jerry Fleming

Jerry Fleming

For the last ten years Jerry has been teaching and composing music in London, but more recently he spent time as a deckhand and cook aboard a series of boats, gaining valuable experience. A carpenter’s son through and through, Jerry would like to brush up on his practical skills during his time here at the Academy.

Jonathan Maiden

Jonathan Maiden

Until recently Jonathan was the Managing Director of an IT business. He is very much looking forward to the initial foundation woodworking stage of the course and hopefully going to build his own boat. Amongst his other achievements, Jonathan briefly held the title of World Bog Snorkelling Champion (according to Wikipedia).

Jonathan Sheldon

Jonathan Sheldon

Jonathan retired eight years ago after a varied career in engineering, finance and investment. He sailed a basic dinghy in his youth but has since moved on to larger boats. Jonathan comes to the Academy with some basic knowledge of carpentry but wants to walk away with skills for life.

Kate Abernethy

Kate Abernethy

Whilst building her house, Kate lives in a caravan with her dog – best described in her own words as ‘not a winning combination’. After the course, Kate would like to work as a freelance woodworker.

Katie Hammond

Katie Hammond

Katie has been employed as a Sailing Instructor since the age of sixteen, though keen on boats and woodworking, she’s unsure of where the course will take her.

Matt Holt

Matt Holt

Until recently Matt was living aboard his boat in Greece, acting as skipper for private chartered tours of the Ionian Islands. In his twenties, he built a recording studio and worked with local artists and musicians. He would like to gain key boat building skills so he can work both on and off the water.

Michael Porter

Michael Porter

Michael has lived in Germnay for the last twelve years, where he worked as a CAD designer for the auto industry. His love of boats brought him to the Academy.

Paul Osborne

Paul Osborne

Paul has held a variety of different jobs over the years, ranging from butchery, manufacturing medical equipment, building timber frames and recently in retail logistics. Paul is no stranger to the Academy, having enrolled on two short courses previously.

Richard Lambert-Gorwyn

Richard Lambert-Gorwyn

Richard is from Totnes and has worked in boat yards since he was sixteen, mostly working on repairs and restoration. He would like to set-up his own business after the course.

Scott Chapman

Scott Chapman

Scott has spent most of his life as a fisherman in his native Cornwall, he is looking to start up his own business building Cornish pilot gigs.

Vera Vogelsanger

Vera Vogelsanger

Vera hails from Switzerland, where she has spent the last 18 months serving as deckhand aboard a sailing boat. She would like a career as a boat builder after the course.

Will Cartwright

Will Cartwright

Before joining the Academy, Will worked as a Broadcast Engineer for many years, but finally gave it up to embark on the start of his boat building career.