Traditional Boatbuilding to hold Open Event
The Traditional Boatbuilding course at Falmouth Marine School is holding an Open Day for anyone who is interested in the construction, repair and restoration of wooden boats.
As recession starts to bite, more people are considering taking a new career direction. On Friday 6th February, 10am - 4pm at Ponsharden Boatyard, visitors will have a chance to talk to tutors and students about the course as well as seeing how this years project is progressing.
This year as a tribute to Flushing boat builder Willy Johns, students are building a replica of the 18ft boat ‘Sirius' built by Willy in 1946 and now owned by local boat builder Ralph Bird. The carvel replica will be planked in carefully sourced mahogany, with steamed oak timbers. As in previous years, the students will complete the full construction, from lofting to launch within an academic year and finish their course taking part in the bi-annual Looe Lugger Festival, aboard Falmouth Marine School's fleet of traditional sailing luggers.
Successful students on the one-year City & Guilds Level 3 course enter the boatbuilding industry with valuable experience gained from being involved in building a traditional wooden boat from start to finish plus carrying out traditional restoration projects. The course attracts people locally and from as far afield as Worchester and Barcelona. The majority of last year's students have found work in the wooden boatbuilding industry.
Past student Chris Brand who completed the course in 2008 and picked up an award for ‘Most Improved Student', is busily employing his newly acquired skills on refurbishment projects such as the classic yacht Wimbrelle. Chris said: "I really enjoyed the course. It gave me the confidence and skill to tackle a variety of work I would never have attempted before. The after course support is fantastic. I know I can contact the staff at anytime for advice. It's like belonging to a special club!"
Dave Martin, Curriculum Area Manager for Boatbuilding at Falmouth Marine School said: "This is a great opportunity to see firsthand the quality of work being produced by our students and to meet the staff. If you can't attend the Open Day then please check out our Boatbuilding Webcam on the College website (www.falmouthmarineschool.ac.uk), where you can look in on the students' progress throughout the course. The webcam is also linked to a screen at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth"
Dave Linnell, Deputy Chief Executive of Cornwall College commented: "This is a unique course which gives students the opportunity to work on a particular project from start to finish. The end product is a fantastic, traditionally made boat. It is great that they are not only developing valuable skills but also helping to keep the tradition of wooden boatbuilding alive."