In the 18th century the industrial revolution took business to the North of England and ships became too large to berth at The Cobb, or harbour, in Lyme Regis.
Lyme Regis’s well known Boat Building Academy agreed to build a pilot gig for the newly formed Lyme Regis Gig Club just over a year ago.
Former student and British Marine Federation Trainee of the Year 2005 turned instructor Gail McGarva project-managed the build and involved as many students and members of the local community as possible, including evening classes for members of the gig club to make their own oars – all of the school contributed even down to knocking in a rivet. The students were not involved on a day to day basis as they were busy with their own boats but because the gig was in the main workshops it seems to have made a useful teaching aid, and Yvonne reports that the gig was launched on the 29th June with due ceremony.
Lyme Regis Gig Club named the new boat Rebel after the Duke of Monmouth, who started his 17th-century rebellion against the Crown on Monmouth beach, where the Boat Building Academy now stands. Have you got news for us?If what you're doing is like the things you read about here - please write and tell us what you're up to. Classic Sailor is a new magazine about traditional and classic boats from ex-Classic Boat editor Dan Houston and colleagues that promises rather more coverage of the traditional craft around our coast.
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Our Faversham-based friend Alan Thorne can help with boatbuilding projects - constructing to plans in very tidy stitch-and-glue or more traditional techniques. The Boat Building Academy at Lyme Regis has organised a 10-day West Greenland kayak building course starting on the 27th September. The instructor is Lars Herfeldt, who first paddled a kayak in the 1960s and was the first to import British sea kayaks to Germany. Lars has now made over 400 paddles and 30 East and West Greenland kayaks and is a member of Qajaq USA.
While the course will be instructed and run by the Boat Building Academy, it is fully residential and takes place at nearby Trill Farm, which specialises in sustainable living skills, organic farming, natural remedies and more. Over the ten days of the course students will each build their own made-to-measure kayak, using either linen canvas or ballistic nylon, and a paddle – the ballistic nylon kayaks will be completed and paddled in the sea at Lyme Regis before the end of the course. For more details on the West Greenland kayak or the course, call Yvonne Green or Emma Brice on (0)1297 445545. The Eastport Pram by CLC and the Nutshell Pram are two others that I have tried out that I liked. Ha ha, well it's certainly easy enough to build but I wouldn't call it a great rower or a great sailer. My son, Edward, and I went to the Lyme Regis Boat Building autumn lauchings a while back, and we were both very impressed by the Oughtred Auk.


Good depth of hull, the helmsman boatbuilder seemed to be able to abuse her sitting in all the wrong places and she sailed just fine choose where he sat. I have a built PDR and I think it's a nifty design and sails well for a box where I really think it shines is in capacity, I've sailed with three adults in a pd which is something I probably wouldn't do in another sub-8 design.
Brian, do you think that the Auk will overall be a better boat tan the Humble Bee for pottering around, both sailing and rowing, and in handling choppy conditions?
Currently I'm looking at the PK78 by Jaques Merten as I've seen a lot of them built and they are neat little boats, but feel free to suggest anything else in the same size range.
Pretty much any of the small sailing prams should be good - do you want to get fancy and try glued lapstrake, or stick with simple S&G ply?
Hmm, I might be able to make the builder's meet, I'll have to check my schedule to be sure. Selway Fisher has several you could consider from very basic prams to shapely works of art. Bolger was the Frank Lloyd Wright of boat designers--innovative, not afraid of a challenge or of trying something that didn't work out, capable of doing everything from a little plywood box dinghy to a full-on square rigged sailing ship. The Fieldmouse prototype in the photos was of multichine plywood (I would have preferred that, personally) but the plans as drawn are for a clinker plywood.
Fieldmouse looks like an interesting little boat to build without being too much of a head scratcher. I'd be happy to e-mail a .pdf if the book chapter (just five pages) to anyone who might be interested.
Here's a resource that should give you hours of perusing pleasure - the design index from Duckworks. There have been some good suggestions already - so I'll just throw in a couple of designers you should look at: Welsford, and Atkin.
I agree that a slightly longer boat would still fit in your available workshop and be more capable, though if we're talking about Iain Oughtred's designs then my vote would be Granny.
My main decision now is for a simple quick build or a more time consuming build that may be a little more elegant in design.
The Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis is running its first raffle to raise funds to provide permanent workshop space for Gail McGarva. This is where the raffle comes in.  First prize is a place on an eight-week ‘Woodworking Skills’ course (plus ?100 for the winner’s ‘personal project’ piece materials), second prize a five-day course in Traditional Wooden Boat Building or Restoration and third prize is a day working with Gail McGarva in her new workshop.
With steep, narrow streets and Georgian architecture, it has a pace of life difficult to find anywhere else at the beginning of the 21st century. It doesn’t normally undertake commercial work but this was a commission the Academy couldn’t refuse, according to principal Yvonne Green.


The mayor, the vicar, the town crier, students and the town all came, blessings were read, salt was strewn and the gig was rowed successfully across Lyme Regis’s sizeable bay. I’m envious by the way – I wish people would commission me to write pieces like that! Try scrolling down, clicking on the 'older posts' button at the bottom of this page - or try the search gadget!
To get WoodenBoat delivered to your door or computer, mobile device of choice, etc, click WB Subscriptions. Ed has some lovely pictures of her, including one on the beach where she looks just like a 30' until you notice the champagne bottle giving her scale.
In a tender one usually has to be careful where you sit, yet the experienced sailor who built her seemed to be sitting anywhere he like as he tested her out at the new launching party. I'm lucky enough to not have to worry abotu storage or transport as all my toys live indoors in either my 3 car garage, large shop or in one of my outbuildings. I'm going to start the project the first of Novemeber so I still have a few weeks to decide and will still consider any input between now and then.
Won't cover it till nearer summer when I hope to have another, smaller one with a flatter bottom for a less boat savvy wife. I could easily build this thing in my shop, but would prefer to build it in the house, at least until I get to the parts about sanding and painting since the sanding will be done in my shop and the painting in my paint booth.
I paddled one in Hobart, skittish is what I'd say and a little too flexible in waves for my liking.
I work in a stressful job environment and find fishing, canoeing, sailing and boat building cheaper than a phychiatrist The winters here in Wyoming are long and cold and with the lakes frozen over I have to build a boat every winter or I go into withdrawals from fishing and boating in general. I have a small trailer that will be perfect for it (are you relieved I didn't say cartop-able?) and have larger boats so there's no need to talk me into something larger than about 9' MAX.
I just have a desire for a tiny sailboat as I think it would be fun to build and this winter I have a couple of paying projects that will keep my shop full so I want something to build in my gunroom which is only a 10x12 in my basement hence the size restricitons. Not unless the selection criteria include bang for the buck and bang for the hour spent building.



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