Class of March 2010

The students started the course on 15 March. They have now completed the woodworking skills foundation phase, lofted, made splay head doors, bollow planes, tool boxes, oars, dinghies, clinker sections, laminated stems and worked on composites. They have talked about what boats the group will build and watched as the Class of September 2009 launched their boats into the harbour on 9th June.

Now they have moved downstairs and the main workshop belongs to them until the end of their course in December.

Francis Clarke

Francis Clarke

Francis spent the first part of his childhood in Borneo where he was heavily involved with boats due to his father being a boat builder. Francis (aka Frank) has worked as a teaching assistant in China , has a diploma in Outdoor Activities – including kayaking, RYA dinghy sailing and mountain leader training. He studied a Fine Art Sculpture degree where he learned basic woodcarving and discovered his love of woodwork. After being paralysed from the waist down and recovering for a few years, he decided to do the course to regain his career direction and energise his creativity.

Ian Baird

Ian Baird

After taking a ducking in a Cornish rock pool at 18 months Ian developed a strong affinity with things that float.  39 years later he bought his first boat, a Fairey Atalanta 26′ needing restoration.  Having absolutely no practical skills but with hope in his heart and love of a challenge Ian managed, with the help of more knowledgeable friends, to get her afloat again and in the process found something he loves doing – building and repairing boats.  The course is the start of a career change for Ian who will work in the marine industry after the course.

Ian Davidson

Ian Davidson

Ian has very recently retired from the Army after serving for 37 years.  He has lived all over the world, and boats and the sea have always been part of his life.  Ian loves to fix things, and has always had a ‘thing’ about wood.  He is a keen sailor and joined the Academy to learn a skill that he could practice and be proud of.

Jack Soesman

Jack Soesman

Jack grew up in Putney, London, and gained a carpentry qualification at Richmond College.  He went on to work as a set builder for the Narional Theatre and more recently worked for an events company covering London and other places in the UK.  Jack has travelled round India and South East Asia, and has joined the Academy to further improve his carpentry skills and learn boat building.

Keian Gillet

Keian Gillet

Keian graduated from North West Catering College in 1997 and, after getting experience as a kitchen hand in London, travelled the world as a chef.  He qualified as a scuba diving instructor in Honduras and worked in a friend’s boatyard while in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand.  Keian then went on to work as chef/crew aboard the S/V Big Reef, making the passage from New Zealand to Australia via the South Pacific Islands.  When the course finishes he plans to restore a boat to live on, and continue his travels around the world.  In the meantime, in his spare time here, he and Wendy (housekeeper) are turning the courtyard into a vegetable garden.

Matt Cotterill

Matt Cotterill

Matt grew up on the edge of the Yorkshire Pennines.  Always fascinated by how things are made and work he gained a degree in Industrial Design and Technology.  Matt worked for various design companies, most recently as Creative Director for a 3D branding and packaging company but, with success and a management role, Matt realised he was not working ‘hands-on’ and so was not doing what he loved.  Matt is very happy to be practising his creativity once again by building boats.

Matt Stiles

Matt Stiles

Matt from Buckinghamshire is the youngest student on this course.  He is a fully qualified RYA Dinghy Instructor and is pursuing his love for sailing and woodwork.  After the course Matt aims to work in the boat renovating/building business.

Nuh Dan Per

Nuh Dan Per

Nuh’s parents are from Turkey but he was born and grew up in Germany.  After being made redundant from his job as an IT project manager for a car manufacturer, Nuh decided he wanted to learn something completely new.  After a sailing trip round Greece with his girlfriend, Nuh visited the Boat Building Academy and decided this was the way for him to go.  After the course Nuh wants to find work in the marine industry in Australia or New Zealand.

Ross Doherty

Ross Doherty

Ross grew up in Australia, where he achieved a double degree in Property and Construction Management and Planning and Design.  For the last seven years he has worked as a project manager in major commercial construction.  Slightly disillusioned by the building industry, Ross decided it was time for a change; joining the Boat Building Academy enables Ross to combine his passion for the ocean with his love of working with timber.