Class of September 2007
Fifteen people started the course on 3rd September 2007, and our sixteenth student joined on Monday 10th. The students came from backgrounds that included building, dramatic arts, geology, engineering, philosophy and the drinks industry. Their average age was 35. They finished their course on Friday 13th June – after taking their exams on 4th and 5th June, going to Beale Park for the weekend of 6th June, then coming back to Lyme to launch their boats, collect their Academy certificates and say their final goodbyes.
Since leaving the course Charlie has sailed ‘Seapod’ the Peapod in the Crinan Classics regatta and has won the commission to restore a Clyde 17/19 Lugger (launched in 1892). See Katydid for his progress.
Ian Thomson is now setting up his workshop in Christchurch. His company Nestaway starts production of his sectional dinghy, developed at the Boat Building Academy while he was on the course, in September in Devon.
Chris Humpage, who helped Ian on the build, is now employed by Nestaway Boats Ltd.
Charlie spent twenty five years working in the IT industry, the last fifteen as founding director of a software services company. He decided in early 2007 that he needed a new career and realised he had found it when he visited the Boat Building Academy in May. During the course Charlie is building a double ended, carvel planked sailing boat based on a Joel White design. After completing the course he intends to work repairing, restoring and building beautiful sailing craft. Charlie is writing a blog on his experience of the course athttp://boatbuilding.wordpress.com
After his interview Chris went back to Antibes to earn the fee for the course by working as a deckhand. He’s had a wide-ranging career; painting and decorating, teaching watersports in Greece, running a French bar, owning his own radio and television production company, being responsible for the audio output of the the Chris Tarrant show on Capital Radio. He windsurfs, wakeboards, surfs and snowboards.
Daniel left sixth form three quarters of the way through his first year. He started to labour for a company laying small pipe lines, and also as a removal man. He spent some time abroad. He enjoys all outdoor sports; skiing, climbing, kayaking and sailing. After the course he is going to get a job in the marine industry and at some point spend a couple of years travelling the world.
Twenty years ago Gareth started work as a tree surgeon/forester and his working life has been related to trees ever since. The idea of boat building has been nagging at him for fourteen years but it wasn’t possible for him to take a year out of work until finally this year he could join the course.
Ian left his job as Head of Marketing for a boating accessories company because he could see no good reason not to help friends sail their Swan 38 from Panama to the Galapagos. He also took a sabbatical in 1999 to sail his Rustler 31 on an Atlantic circuit via Venezuela and Cuba. He has joined the course because he’s got a design idea…we can give no details…
Jim started out at the Department of Agriculture monitoring post-Chernobyl radio caesium in livestock before moving on to eventually sell wine in Donegal. He wanted a complete career change, had sailed for years and qualified as an RYA Day Skipper. He also cycles, mountain bikes and motorcycles.
John made a kit boat with oars and spars and then came on a Basic Clinker Boat Building and Repair short course here and throughly enjoyed it. On retirement from his job as a Consulting Engineering Geologist he decided to get away completely from the stresses and strains of running a business and fulfil a lifelong ambition by learning how to build boats properly.
Michael has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and worked for the family engineering businesses during his time in sixth form and at university. He built a 14′ stitch and tape Thames rowing skiff for a friend’s birthday, and his next ambition is to build a small motorboat capable of crossing the Solent to the Isle of Wight. Michael has his National Private Pilots Licence for Microlights and a British Gliding Association Bronze badge with cross country endorsement
Richard worked as an outdoor instructor and then ran a power boat charter company out of Poole. When he visited the Academy he was working on recovery from the container ship, MSC Napoli, which was grounded off Branscombe Beach in Devon.
As a ten year old Richard used to row a friend’s old clinker skiff up and down the River Itchen in Southampton, admiring Unicorns, Contendors and International Moths racing past him. He decided ‘One day I’ll build one of those.’ 44 years later, after three years as a cartographer and 25 years as a drama teacher, he is now finally learning boat building at the Academy and the boat he’d like to build…is a traditional clinker skiff like the one he rowed all those years ago…
Robert started work as a bespoke landscape gardener and builder. Work had included the renovation of a unique early Elizabethan church tower in Winkfield and designing and supervising the construction of a play wall and sensory garden in the grounds of a home for young autistic adults. He is interested in solid, old fashioned craftsmanship and when he finishes the course he wants to find a knackered old narrow boat and do it up to live on.
Among his other qualifications Simon has 4AS levels in Art, English, Geography and Photography and two A2 levels in Art and Geography. Since starting the course he appeared in the Bridport News after rescuing someone who fell 15 feet into the sea. Simon speaks French and German to GCSE level, and is teaching himself how to play the didgeridoo. He sails, and was looking for a highly practical course.
Simon was an aircraft mechanic (radio and radar) in the Royal Navy before a serious motor bike accident forced his medical discharge. It took him five years to recover, and he started looking for a career that would take him in a different direction. He is looking to move to the Lyme Regis area and set up a business in boat building/repair or transfer his new skills to another area, working with wood.
Tom has lived in Lyme Regis all his life and has worked for two local boatbuilders – Lyme Boats (owned by Chris Pogson from the September 06 course’s father) and Specialized Marine. He travelled for a year, then worked as a builder at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage, but realised his heart lay in boat building not building.