Class of September 2010
On 6th September we welcomed eighteen students to the Academy who are now the ‘Class of September 2010’.
After the staff introduced themselves each student said a few words about what they had done in the past, what they want to achieve on the course and what they hope for in the future. People had come from, among other places, Dundee, Northern Ireland, Germany, the South of France, Australia and Lyme Regis to join the course.
Their backgrounds include mechanical engineering, farming, finance, marine sports technology, sculpture, tree surgery, accountancy, advertising and photography. Two of the group were joining the Academy for the second time; graduates of the 8 week ‘Woodworking Skills’ course they were inspired to further their training and specialise in boat building, restoration and repair.
By the end of September it was decided that the group would build twelve boats, more than any class has built before. Quite a challenge, but Justin Adkin their Chief Instructor reckons they are more than capable. Launch day for the Class of September 2010 is 7 June at 10.30am. We’ve got a feeling time will fly…
The group’s woodworking skills are now up to scratch, they have lofted and taken lines, built five stitch and tape dinghies in a week, made clinker sections and all the signs are that they are going to prove themselves an exceptional group. Twelve boats will tell. They move down to the main workshop in early January when we will start keeping photographic diaries of the builds on the website.
- 10′ ‘Wally’ – Ollie Rees
- 12′ Traditional Clinker Dinghy – James Higson
- 13′ 6″ Tammie Norrie – Fiona Molloy
- 14′ 5″ Spitzl rowing boat – Uli Killer
- 14′ Yachting World Dayboat – Sean Quail
- 16′ 6″‘ Haven 12 1/2 – Gary Thompson
- 16′ Canadian Canoe – Chris Smith
- 16′ Cayman Catboat – Tom Sargison
- 16′ Outrigger Sailing Canoe – Hannah Jenkins
- 21′ Victorian Half Rater – Martin Nott
- Jim Little – Fibreglass rowing skiff designed by Justin Adkin
- Wee Rob Canoe – Dan Stone
Alistair Gary Thompson
Gary comes from County Down in Northern Ireland. He initially trained as a Graphic Designer and worked freelance as well as a spell at the Ulster Museum. Gary has since worked in various sales & marketing roles alongside running his own property development business. He was interested in the Boat Building Academy after reading an article about the school in the Daily Telegraph; after doing some exhibition building and realising how much he enjoyed practical work Gary decided to follow his interest. In his spare time Gary is a very keen oil painter and his artists blog can be seen here.
Alistair was the Managing Director of an advertising agency for 10 years. He has considerable sailing experience, completing over 2,500nm as skipper, and holds a number of qualifications. He was the owner/ skipper of a 32′ Beneteau Oceanis 321, followed by a 43′ Beneteau Oceanis 423. Alistair has joined the course because he is now looking for a career change.
Charlie did a foundation course at Chelsea College of Art & Design and went on to gain a BA in Fine Art Sculpture at Brighton. He has worked in galleries and studios constructing and installing large-scale work. He worked as Artist’s Assistant to sculptor Phylida Barlow. Charlie has lived and studied in Venezuela, and recently returned from a nine month trip to India. He wants to learn some ‘real skills’ and decided that boatbuilding and carpentry was the way to go.
Originally from Dundee, Chris has just finished a degree in Marine Sports Technology at Plymouth University. He wants to further his practical marine engineering and yacht design experience. Chris has a range of RYA and BSAC diving qualifications and last year completed an Atlantic crossing. He is currently refitting his own Achilles 24. After the course Chris will probably go onto complete a masters degree and hopes to eventually build a mini transat in order the race solo across the Atlantic. View his blog here.
Dan had worked resettling homeless people, as a telephone counsellor and as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. Enrolling on an adult education wood carving course was a revelation for him. He had not done practical work before, but discovered a passion for working with wood. He has had a love of water and boats for as long as he can remember and lives in Lyme Regis. The Academy was the obvious place to come to further and refine his skills. Dan can think of nothing he would rather do than make and restore wooden boats.
Lancashire born Fiona was a Management Accountant in London but wanted a practical and fulfilling change of direction which encompassed her newly discovered passion for sailing. Fiona first met us at the Beale Park boat show last year, and came down to see the Class of September 2009 launch on 9th June before deciding to start her ‘new life’ in Lyme Regis at the Academy.
Hannah graduated from Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance with a degree in Set Construction and Properties. Since then she has worked as a scenic carpenter, an English & Arts teacher in Taiwan and Korea, and a prop maker. Hannah’s father was a boatbuilder and is a sailing fanatic. With her carpentry experience and passion for the sea and sailing Hannah is gaining the skills to follow in his footsteps. She would like to spend some time working in New Zealand after the course.
James was one of the first people to book on our September 2010 long course. He has a degree in Industrial Product Design, but has worked in various jobs including Financial Advisor and most recently Mechanical Engineer. Realising this was not the path he wished to follow, and with a passion for boats and sailing, James enrolled on the course here to learn boat building.
Jim has worked in journalism, communications, and marketing. Early in 2010 he and his family relocated from Kent to a small East Devon village. Jim talked to the Academy about coming on the course in 2008 but, inexplicably, decided to sail to the Caribbean and back instead. After a year away he enrolled on the Academy’s 8 week ‘Woodworking Skills’ course and then decided to return in September for the 38 week boat building course. Jim will set up his own business after the course.
Martin spent 30 years in sports magazine publishing (inc. Autosport, Motor Sport) but decided it was time to look for a new challenge. In 2006 he bought ‘Witch’, a 1902 Charles Sibbick 36 foot gaff cutter needing restoration on the National Register of Historic Vessels. Click here for details of her history and restoration. As a result of Witch, Martin has become fascinated by wooden boats, how they’re built, and the history behind them. His project while on the course is the recreation of another Sibbick boat ‘Diamond’, a Victorian half rater. He is writing a blog on the build which you can see if you click here.
Born in England, Nick now lives in Sydney Australia with his wife Sally, 3 adult children and a son-in-law. He is a Professional Engineer and worked mainly in heavy industry. Always one for a challenge he built the family home, from foundations to roof, a garage and granny flat but then his interest in boat building was re-kindled by a Christmas gift of sailing lessons. He has taken courses in seamanship including inshore skipper and navigation. Nick’s reason for taking the course is in preparation for a change in career. On return to Australia Nick plans to establish his own yard focussing on repair and restoration works.
Ollie has worked as a chef, in a music shop and as a guitar teacher. He wanted to learn a new skill and so joined our 8-week ‘Woodworking Skills’ course in April 2010 (the same course as Jim Little). He enjoyed the work and, having watched students on the boat building course and the boats they were producing, decided to further his skills in boat building rather than furniture making or construction. We are delighted that he and Jim decided to become part of the Academy again.
Paul has worked on a cattle farm in Tavistock, Devon, since 2007, gaining experience in land management and animal husbandry. His qualifications and awards are many and varied, including a Gold Duke of Edinburgh award, distinctions in LAMDA public speaking and miming awards and a BTEC in Public Services in addition to various achievements with the Cadets. Paul has also completed a 125 mile canoe and kayak marathon, and various hiking events across Dartmoor National Park. He recently restored a
1975 Triumph Spitfire, a sailing dinghy, and several pieces of furniture. There is more, but space is limited. Paul has set-up a workshop at home where he will restore and build boats after the course.
21 year old Sean comes from Liphook near Portsmouth in Hampshire. After gaining A levels in Photography, Graphic Design and Business Studies at college, Sean travelled to the east coast of Australia, Canada – where he qualified as a snowboarding instructor – and Thailand. Sean has been working as a Freelance Photographer and Graphic Designer and is very interested in woodworking. He says ‘My hobbies and interests are what I live for and to make a living related to those would be the greatest achievement’. You can see Sean’s short piece of film (shot on a phone) of the Class of March 2010 hot nailing the ‘Witch of Weymouth’ if you click on this link. Sean is also writing a blog on the Yachting World Dayboat build, click here to read it.
Tim joined us from Brighton where he worked as a self-employed Tree Surgeon for various arboricultural companies. Tim has also been playing the alto saxophone for twenty years with different bands, musicians and musical projects in the UK and abroad. His interest in trees and wood has lead him here to do the 38-week course, where he is hoping to broaden his horizons with his newly acquired skills.
Known to his friends as ‘Sargie’, Tom was born in the Caribbean. He has a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Wales, Swansea, and has set up an underwater photography company in the Cayman Islands. A qualified RYA Yachtmaster, Tom sails regularly, and has raced at Cowes, in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and across the Atlantic Ocean. Just in case anyone should think he’s not down to earth, he did work as a painter and decorator…although it was in Sydney.
Ulrich (Uli) Killer
Uli is from Munich and decided to quit his job as the boss of a small financial company when he realised it was becoming increasingly stressful. Boat restoration had always been his hobby (his first project was a small canoe and his most recent a Dragon) and he decided to take it to a professional level. He found the BBA on the internet and was the first person to enrol for the class of September 2010. Uli will start a small restoration/ boat building business in Germany, near his home on the shores of lake Tegernsee in Southern Germany. You can see Uli’s (German) blog by clicking here.
From La Ciotat, a small town in the South of France, Yoann joined the course after gaining a degree in English Literature from the University of Provence (where he spent his second year at The National University of Ireland). He has worked as a garden designer, and as a wine picker in Australia. Having grown up in a fishing town, Yoann has a real passion for sailing, surfing, and pretty much everything to do with the sea. After completing the course, Yoann hopes to work in an English or French boatyard.