Class of March 2015
Forestry teacher at an agricultural school in Austria/Graz, Andy has always liked nature especially water and working with wood. His hobbies include sailing, biking, skiing, skitouring and snowboarding (instructor), climbing, travelling, woodworking. Wanting to work with his hands and experience how it is to see the visible results of a days work, he took a gap year from teaching to join the 38 week course. After the course he will return to teaching part time and will establish his own workshop in which he will use his newly acquired boatbuilding techniques for furniture making, wooden art objects, small wooden boats and eventually boat restoration
Ant is a co-founder of and design consultant at Mace & Menter based in Bristol, helping businesses improve the design of their websites and other digital products. He also teaches on the Product Design degree course at the University of the West of England. Ant originally studied Product and Furniture Design at Kingston University, going on to gain an MA in Interaction Design at the Royal College of Art. After enjoying a green oak timber framing course and recently converting his van into a camper van, Ant decided he wanted to pursue more practical work and joined the 38 week course to learn woodworking and boat building skills.
Darren worked as a carpenter and joiner and has a level 3 diploma in Engineering (Carpentry and Joinery). After reading an article about boat building in a magazine, he decided he’d like to develop and expand his skills to pursue a new career in this trade. From Surrey, he enjoys cross country running, cycling, swimming and indoor climbing.
Mark is from New Zealand and first heard about the 38 week course when he came across the Academy’s stand during a visit to the Southampton Boat Show in 2014. Mark and his father built New Zealand’s first custom-built Backpacker Hostel at Lake Taupo which he ran for 18 years. He created a marketing network to promote the backpacking industry which grew into New Zealand’s largest hostel network. He has sailed for many years and has long admired the craftsmanship of wooden boats. He decided to join the Academy to learn these skills himself.
Mark from Buckinghamshire worked as a financial director and controller for 20 years. He has RYA Yachtmaster and Dinghy Sailing qualifications and also enjoys rowing and diving. Looking for a change to a new, more practical vocation, the 38 week course sparked his interest and he decided to join to learn skills for a fresh career in the marine industry.
Neil’s career has ranged from rigging and drilling in both the Persian ( or Arabian ) Gulf and the North Sea for the oil industry to managing IT and Engineering services for the MET Office. Neil enjoys most ball sports and kayaking and sailing and has RYA Yachtmaster qualifications. His father was a master mariner, his grandfather and great grandfather were fisherman and his great grandfathers’ boat called ‘Sigurfari’, originally built in Burton Upon Stather, is on display outside the Akranes Museum Centre in Iceland. Further details about ‘Sigurfari’ can be found here. As part of the course, Neil is building a traditional clinker, Iain Oughtred ‘Elfyn’.
Since completing A-Levels in Media Studies, Art and Design, and English Language, Peter has spent time working and travelling around Europe, Indonesia, Morocco, Jamaica, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. He worked in Switzerland, Singapore and New York for MDA Training (a provider of tailored training services) and in Austria for Patscheider Sport in a busy ski depot. Peter loves to swim, surf and sail and has worked as a Deckhand aboard several different sailing yachts. He has RYA Day Skipper Tidal qualifications, has completed a surf coaching course and was National Board Champion in the Surf Life Saving Association Championships.
Ross joined the Academy straight after completing A Levels in film, media, sociology, philosophy and ethics and is a Young Ambassador for the ‘Meningitis Now’ charity. At 15 he completed the 35 mile Dartmoor Ten Tors Challenge and at present is working towards a Duke of Edinburgh Gold award. As a member of the Young Fire Fighters and the MOD Combined Cadet Force (CCF), Ross achieved Crew Manager and Corporal rank positions. As part of the CCF, he enjoyed attending Army adventure training in places such as Dartmoor, Exmoor and the Brecon Beacons. After his training Ross will work in the marine industry.
Steven is a retired IT professional who now spends his time sailing, diving, skiing and travelling. He is building a strip planked replica of a Herreshoff 12 ½ as part of his training at the Academy.