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Ever dreamed of building your own boat?

Published: August 9, 2017

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A new boatbuilding course unique to Devon and Cornwall is giving the opportunity for learners to not only gain the skills for a career in boatbuilding, but also the chance of making their own boat.

The 36-week Boat Building and Maintenance Diploma course has been introduced to cater to those who want a fully-immersive, intensive boatbuilding experience that will give them the necessary skills to launch their career.

Course Manager Jonny Mills, has been working in the marine sector for more than 30 years and was the head shipwright on the construction of the ‘Hereford Bull’, a replica trow built for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

And it’s this experience, which includes building and maintaining historic replicas for museums, fibreglass production and yacht building that students will be able to tap into.

“As well as being a concrete first step into a career in boatbuilding, this course is also ideal for people who just want to experience being amongst like-minded people who have a passion for boats,” explained Jonny.

“It would be perfect for someone who wants to take a sabbatical, or who has retired and wants to learn new skills to an industry-standard.”

Starting this autumn, the Diploma will incorporate the internationally recognised City & Guilds 2463 Level 3 Diploma in Boatbuilding.

After the initial first 12 weeks working at the bench, students will progress on to live boatbuilding projects and possibly, dependant on numbers, build their boat under expert tuition with materials purchased at their own cost.

“Whether you are looking to improve your employability in the boatbuilding sector, or you are simply pursuing a passion, everyone is taught by and will work alongside skilled, enthusiastic and experienced boat builders,” Jonny continued.

“They will encourage and challenge you to develop your skills and by the end of the course you will be a highly prized asset to any organisation giving you plenty of options on your next steps in your career or free time.”

Falmouth Marine School has been delivering training to the boatbuilding and shipbuilding industry since 1920, and has run fulltime boatbuilding courses since the early 1970s.

Recognised as a R.Y.A Training Centre, the school, which is part of The Cornwall College Group (TCCG), benefits from being at the centre of an extensive maritime industrial area.

Falmouth has just won the Sunday Times reader’s vote for the best place to live in Britain, as well as an award for the Best Coastal Town in the UK, which is also a huge draw for students, according to Marine Cluster innovation Manager and former boat builder for the College, Steve Taylor.

“Many of our past alumni have sent up marine businesses in this part of Cornwall, and continue to offer a wide variety of support and employment opportunities for our graduates,” Steve continued.

“All of this opportunity will be available to those who take the new course and will also have access to our fully-equipped, purpose-built Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) workshop, which enables us to deliver composite training and upskilling to industry.”

Steve added that the course was based on “learning by doing”, so during the second phase of the course, theory is taught alongside the practical application of developing skills.

“We recognise that some students will have some previous experience, or learn new skills at different speeds, and we will structure your progression through the course to suit your particular needs,” he explained.

Falmouth Marine School also benefits from strong partnerships with a wide variety of industry leading institutions and firms including The National Maritime Museum in Cornwall, King Harry & Cornwall Ferries and the sailing charity Turn to Starboard.

The course will run from September until the end of June. And will incorporate three terms with half term breaks in-between.

To find out more please visit Boatbuilding and Restotation Course


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