Class of September 2009
The Academy welcomed eleven new students on Monday 7th September. Among the Class of September 2009 are a retired chartered surveyor, an architect, a product designer, and a tree surgeon. For some the course is the first step of their first career; Alasdair Grant, from North West Scotland, has been waiting to come on the course since he was 14.
On the first morning Yvonne Green the Principal introduced herself and the staff, including Justin Adkin and Matthew Law, main Instructors, to the group. The students then shared their hopes of the course and beyond before making themselves at home at their benches where they were at work straight after morning tea break.
Alasdair comes from a fishing family who live in Aultbea, a village in the North West of Scotland. He has always enjoyed working with wood and is very interested in boats, in particular traditionally built wooden boats. Alasdair first contacted the Academy when he was fourteen. Now he is seventeen we felt that Alasdair was an excellent exception to the ’18 years and over’ rule. After the course Alasdair will continue working on boats and hopes to one day own his own boat yard at home.
Ben has worked as a snowboarding instructor in California and loves the outdoors. He plays the violin, mandolin and piano. After finishing an apprenticeship in pattern making, which gave him some experience of working with wood, Ben wanted to learn more and get some excellent practical skills that he can use in boat or furniture making…or both. Ben’s dog, Carter, is a regular visitor to the Academy where he is working on the skill of slipping his collar undetected as an art form.
Like many people Dom fell into jobs with no idea
whether any of them would bring him real satisfaction and, above all, the fun he was looking for. After working for the last five years in London as a Management Consultant in the health sector Dom decided to take a break from it all and do something he had never done, or even thought of doing, before – build a boat. Dom’s year of adventure will culminate in him building a 12ft Mallard sailing dinghy and getting as many friends in as possible…as Dom can’t sail those friends could come in very handy at the launch in June next year…
From Ramsbottom in Lancashire, James joined the BBA straight after studying carpentry and joinery at college. Enrolling at the BBA was his father’s idea (we do wonder whether James’s father will join the course one day) but James is thoroughly enjoying the course and looking forward to pursuing a career in boat building.
Jim is from the south of Ireland and at the age of 27, while working in an architectural practice in Cork, he awoke to the fact that he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life working at an office desk. Jim decided that the course would enable him to combine his interest in woodwork, mechanics and boats. Jim will go back to Ireland with his new skills and set up a boat building business in Novohal near Kinsale, Co. Cork.
Jon studied product and furniture design at university. He then spent three and a half years working in the industry before taking a year out to travel round Asia, Australasia and North America. He has always enjoyed an active life and took the year to trek, climb, dive, cycle and paddle in as many places as possible. During the following year, back at a desk in the UK, Jon decided to find a course that would allow him to further develop his skills, learn an alternative trade and work in a more practical environment. Upon completion of the course, Jon is looking to work in the marine industry.
Locky is a retired chartered surveyor and keen dinghy sailor. He chose the course as a retirement project with the objectives of being able to maintain wooden boats and also to build a clinker Yachting World Dayboat to race in Chichester Harbour.
Martin has long nurtured the idea of boat building as a career and after 40 years in sales and marketing, predominantly spent in the Financial Services and Banking industries, the last 9 working in the Middle East, has finally committed to realising his dream. Martin has considerable sailing experience and has competed in many offshore yacht races including the Fastnet. However, his real interest now is in traditional boat building techniques and the restoration of classic craft. Martin will pursue this as a new career path upon completion of the course.
Steve worked as a tree surgeon and builder. He joined the course not just because he wants to build boats, but also because the woodworking skills will help him realise his ambition to buy and renovate a property to house him, his wife, three children and two dogs. Steve’s family (and dogs) moved from Hampshire to Lyme Regis with him so that he could join the Academy which, Steve says, suits him because he’s not among just young students.
Originally from South Africa, Tim joined the course from Alderney, in the Channel Islands and has a lot of past experience with boats; he is a MCA Master of Yachts, has worked as crew, a water taxi, sailing instructor, counsellor and in yacht delivery. Tim looked at the BBA because he wanted to build boats, he joined the Academy after seeing the atmosphere here during his interview visit – it ‘sealed the deal’. When he finishes the course Tim thinks he will probably stay in the UK for a while, job allowing, but would like to live somewhere sunny…
Tom studied photography at Art College, and then travelled around Europe and Australia. He joined the course because he didn’t want to be “just a chippy”, and with a love for outdoor activities, such as sailing, surfing, skating and mountain biking, and a passion for boats he decided that this was the course for him. Tom is using this course as a stepping stone into the marine industry, eventually hoping to become a skipper.