Class of September 2006
Gav was in the Royal Navy for 16 years, then worked as an engineer on yachts in the South of France. After finishing the course he plans to work in the boat building indusry with the aim of possibly starting his own business.
Chris was, at sixteen, the youngest student to join the long course. He is the exception to the 18 and over rule because he has been brought up surrounded by boats and boat builders (his Father owns Lyme Boats Ltd). Rather than take ‘A’ Levels, Chris wanted to work on his practical skills before going to university to study Naval Architecture and Small Boat Design. He is building a speed boat (of course he is, he’s 16) and wanted it to be a classic, wooden design. The ply on frame, 14′ Glen L was perfect.
Craig worked in the forestry indusry for thirteen years and wanted to do practical work with wood. Craig has taken the lines from a Nigel Dennis ‘Explorer’ sea kayak, lofted it and built a cedar strip plank version. It is a challenging project, using advanced composites including woven glass cloth and carbon fibre. After the course Craig hopes to develop a business specialising in the production of strip plank sea kayaks and be part of the development of the South West marine industry.
In real life David is a Fish and Chip shop owner, but he’s taking ten months off by the sea and building an Ian Oughtred designed 13’6 Tammie Norrie; a strip planked, classic design using modern construction methods, before returning to fish and chips (although he keeps the deep fat fryers burning with fish and chip suppers at the BBA – best fish and chips we’ve ever tasted)
Gary was in the fire service and a partner in a surf shop before he bought some land in Sri Lanka and moved out there to live. Then the tsunami destroyed it all. Gary and his partner came back to England, but realised that they wouldn’t feel comfortable unless they went back to Sri Lanka to help the people of the village they lived in. ‘The Bab’ was born in Colombo. Gary, Trace and The Bab are now back in England, where Gary wants to find a job in the marine industr.
Hugh took a year out after his ‘A’ Levels to travel in South America, and is now at the Academy before he goes to Strathclyde to study Naval Architecture. He cooks a great curry and has volunteered as Chief Potato Peeler for David King’s fish and chip suppers…he’s got this idea that the Surfacer/Thicknesser in the Machine Shop might speed the process up…
Justin practised as a solicitor (which has been handy for some of the staff and students – all we need now is a GP to join the course) for thirteen years. Although he enjoyed the law he wanted to move on to something more creative. He has joined the course to learn the skills necessary for a career change and wants to start a boat building business, perhaps in partnership with other people who have taken the course, when he leaves.
Martin was a Research Engineer at Westland Helicopters before giving up the rat race 20 years ago and moving to South America to work and, during the 12 years he was there, build a boat on Lake Titicaca (a 20′ White Swan from Selway Fisher plans). He wants to start a boat building business when he finishes the course.
Matt Davies was an Insurance Claims Adviser on the Isle of Man, but had always wanted to build boats. In the space of a week he changed his life by getting married, moving to Lyme Regis with his new wife and little boy and starting the course. He is looking for a job in the marine industry at the end of the course, when we’re assuming he’ll also move his motorbike (or rather pieces of) out.
Myke lived on the Scilly Isles for four years, where he worked as a boatman ferrying passengers between the islands. He decided it was time to start a career, to ‘do something with his life’; he loved the sea, wood and boats and training as a boat builder incorporated all three. He and Polly Simmonds, also from the Scillies, knew each other but did not realise they were both on the course until their first morning at the Academy.
Paul left a job in the City, at Lloyds, to join the course. He moved his family to Lyme Regis, and is building a 12’8″ Cat’s Paw designed by Joel White. The boat is strip planked, sheathed with epoxy and glass and relatively lightweight and child-friendly, just what Paul wants for his children. After he finishes the course he is going to restore an old classic yacht and aspires to designing and building racing yachts.
Polly and her family live on the Scilly Isles, where she hopes to return after finishing the course and gaining some experience in commercial boatyards. She is building a 13’ clinker Beer beach boat, as they are similar to the traditional Scillonian boats which she hopes to eventually build and restore.
Rob worked as a fisherman out of Salcombe for ten years, six of them as Skipper/Owner, before selling his boat to fund his boat building training. He is building a Salcombe Yawl, which he will specialise in building when he finishes the course, designed by Phil Morrison. (Instructor Justin Adkin, who is overseeing the build, built Salcombe Yawls for a number of years before joining the BBA).
Steve lived on a farm in France before joining the course. He is building a 16′ rod fishing boat, designed by Selway Fisher for salmon and trout fishing on Irish and Scottish lochs, constructed from glued ply clinker. Steve believes there is a demand for these boats and will continue building them after the course. He intends working in the marine industry in either France or England.
Will has a degree in furniture design and worked as a technician in a Buckinghamshire college before coming to the Academy, where Instructors wept at the beauty of his dovetail joints. He’s building a slightly bigger boat than the norm (16′) at 21′ – La Marseillaise, a double-ended hard chine plywood boat with a lateen rig, designed by John Pendray and based on an old French fishing boat.