Boat Building Academy students launch the boats they have built from scratch


Boat Building Academy students launch the boats that they have spent 38 weeks building as part of an intensive training course at the school in Lyme Regis.

At the end of last year, Boat Building Academy students celebrated their success as they finally launched the boats that they have spent 9 months building. Eleven students joined the full-time ‘Boat Building, Maintenance and Support’ course from the UK and beyond.  

Of all ages and from varying backgrounds, most joined the course with little or no woodworking or boat building experience. But the students all left with the skills and internationally recognised qualification needed to start careers in the marine industry.

Following an intensive woodworking foundation phase, the students built the boats using traditional and modern construction methods (strip plank, traditional clinker, stitch and tape and glued clinker). They completed every stage of the process – from lofting board to launch – under the expert guidance of the Academy’s instructors.

Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis launch 2014 photographs

12′ Fleet Trow ©Jenny Steer Photography December 2014

A 12’ glued clinker Fleet, Trow was first into the water at the launch. Planked in marine ply the Trow has a khaya stem and bright finished sapele thwarts and trim. Epoxy was used to bond the plywood clinker plank laps and to create neat fillets at the interface and between plank edges and the flat bottom panels. Named ‘The Lost Tribe’, she is based on the design of a 1970s Trow as featured in the book ‘Working Boats of Britain – Their Shape and Purpose’ by Eric McKee.

14' Broome Runabout photo by Derek Thompson 2014 (8)

14′ Broome Runabout photo by Derek Thompson 2014

Second into the water was a 14’ Broome Runabout (designed by Academy instructor Mike Broome). The construction method was stitch and glue using marine ply. Thickened epoxy was used initially to ‘tab’ between the wire stitches and then later to create more substantial structural fillets at the keel and chine joints. The fillets were further reinforced with biaxial glass cloth tapes and epoxy.  She was then sheathed externally in biaxial glass cloth and epoxy, and then painted. With a Honda 40 hp outboard engine, she raced across the bay.

Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis launch 2014 photographs

14′ Beg Meil dinghy ©Jenny Steer Photography December 2014

The final boat to be launched by the Class of March 2014 was a bright red 14’ François Vivier ‘Beg Meil’ dinghy.  Gaff-rigged, the dinghy is glued clinker planked in marine ply. Epoxy was used in the same way as for the Fleet Trow, bonding the plywood clinker planks to create neat fillets between the plank edges, buoyancy tanks and bulk heads.

To find out more about the Boat Building Academy and the intensive 38 week ‘Boat Building Maintenance and Support’ course, please visit or contact Rebecca Joseph on 01297 445545 or

To see more projects from the Boat Building Academy, and to read about how epoxy was used in the builds, click here: 


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