Lyme Regis students launch self-built flotilla

Dorset Echo: PLAIN SAILING: Student Roman Rodriguez from Uruguay prepares to launch his 15ft ranger canoe PLAIN SAILING: Student Roman Rodriguez from Uruguay prepares to launch his 15ft ranger canoe

BUOYANT boatbuilder students have launched the flotilla of vessels they lovingly crafted.

Pupils officially finished the nine-week course at the Lyme Regis BoatBuilding Academy and many of them will now progress on to employment which they secured while studying.

The boats took to the water for the first time at Lyme Regis Harbour, as crowds gathered to see what this year’s students had to offer.

Eight boats were built by the 11 trainees, who have worked from 8.30am until 5.30pm Monday to Friday since March this year.

From March to June, they learnt skills in woodwork and boatwork, until they put the practice into action and started making the boats in June.

Tom Oughton, from Weymouth, will start work at Southerly Yachts in Chichester after finishing the course.

He said: “I really enjoyed the course.

“There was a lot of hard work but it was all worth it in the end.

“The first couple of weeks were the hardest because I didn’t have much of a background in woodworking, but the teachers were all really helpful and put in the same amount of work as the students, which was great.”

Yvonne Green, the principal of the Boatbuilding Academy, pictured inset, said: “The boats this year were of a very high standard.

“We teach the students the skills they need and we watch the boats take shape.

“We are very impressed this year, the boats are all superb.

“The students we had this year are incredibly hard working, some have started at seven in the morning and not finished until ten at night.

“I know some students were up until 2am last night, putting the finishing touches on them.

“Our high hopes for this class are starting to be achieved.

“One student will go to work for Henwood and Dean, which is one of the most prestigious boatbuilding companies in the country.

“Colin Henwood, co-founder of the company, came to the boat launch today and told me he has also got his eye on another student, so that is great news.”

For more information on the academy and the courses they provide, visit boatbuildingacade my.com

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