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Make your passion your future

Welcome to the Boat Building Academy

Our world leading courses are focussed on professional training but also provide life-changing opportunities for complete beginners, enthusiasts and those on a gap year.

Learn boat building and woodworking by the sea in the heart of Lyme Regis, on the Dorset coast. From 2 days to 40 weeks, there is a course for everyone.

Our tutors are selected not only for their excellence in boat building and craftsmanship but also for their outstanding communication and teaching skills.

"I have taught and studied in many professional courses throughout my working life and the training I have had at the BBA is some of the very best"
– Bijan Nabavi, 2023 40-week Boat Building student

Our Boat Building and Furniture Making Courses

40-week Boat Building course

Our Flagship 40-week Boat Building course

Since 1997 we have trained over 2500 people. Many of these have gone on to work in the boat building industry across the UK and the world.

12-week furniture making course

12-week furniture making course

A practical and comprehensive programme of woodwork, skill building, joinery, drawing, bending, a personal design and make project, and much more.

2 to 10-day short courses

2 to 10-day short courses

From GRP Repairs to Antique Furniture Restoration, there is a short course for everyone! Whether you’re a complete beginner, want to hone a particular skill or spend time by the sea learning something new.

40-week Boat Building course

Our Flagship 40-week Boat Building course

Since 1997 we have trained over 2500 people. Many of these have gone on to work in the boat building industry across the UK and the world.

12-week furniture making course

12-week furniture making course

A practical and comprehensive programme of woodwork, skill building, joinery, drawing, bending, a personal design and make project, and much more.

2 to 10-day short courses

2 to 10-day short courses

From GRP Repairs to Antique Furniture Restoration, there is a short course for everyone! Whether you’re a complete beginner, want to hone a particular skill or spend time by the sea learning something new.

Join us this September

If you want to be part of a community that is preparing people for the boat building industry, then the Boat Building Academy is the place for YOU!

NEW PADDLEBOARD MAKING COURSE

Spend 2 weeks in sunny Lyme Regis learning how to build your own wooden paddleboard

“The 40-week Boat Building course is by far the best thing I have ever done. The teaching is of the highest quality, both in expertise and enthusiasm for the course and the boatbuilding industry in general. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering a career in either woodworking or boatbuilding or even just to learn a new skillset.”

George Soper, 40-week Boat Building Graduate

"Your college has set the benchmark for the future of training craftsmen, which has long been the biggest worry of traditional boat builders and repairers. You deserve to go from strength to strength, and I for one will recommend it to anyone looking for a career in our industry."

Tom Richardson, Owner of Elephant Boatyard, Hampshire

A really useful week! I learned techniques and got some confidence in general woodworking, but the best thing was being able to bring my boat along for the class to work on.
I am extremely grateful for the dedicated concentration on the issues that need sorting for my boat.

Richard Palmer, Wooden Boat Restoration

A brilliant, well run school, where everyone was helpful, professional and a joy to be around! It was an excellent course that more than met my expectations. Providing many detailed explanations on several different aspects of boat construction.

Richard Cord, Modern Wooden Boat

All our interactions and experiences with the BBA have impressed us with their commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive space. The teaching offered is second to none, and the environment is unique in its atmosphere of respect, encouragement and acceptance of all. BBA is a wonderful place to spend time.

Belinda Joslin, Women in Boatbuilding

“I wanted to do the 40 week course in order to retrain and start a new career. Without the bursary I would not have been able to join when I did, and at 34 I felt that I didn’t have time to waste. Before the course, I was stuck in a fairly poorly paid job and only had a small amount of savings. I was lucky enough that my family were willing to help with some of my costs, but it was a stretch. The bursary I received enabled me to make up the rest and enjoy the course to the fullest. I now have lifelong skills (and friends), and finally a career that I love. I wouldn’t be writing this without the support I received.”

Tom Jenkins , 40-week Boat Building Graduate

"It exceeded expectations! Lovely people, lovely tutor, lovely place. It was the right amount of things to try and achieve in a week."

Thank you so much for the bursary opportunity. This has had a huge impact on me & has made the project i want to achieve more possible and less scary to start."

Katie Pollitt, Womens Workshop

“I trained at BBA and built my first boat as a replica to the oldest surviving Shetland boat and this has underpinned my work as a traditional wooden boat builder for the last seventeen years. I would like to express my great appreciation to all the tutors at the Academy for the guidance, skill and knowledge they have shared with me.”.

Gail McGarva, 40-week Boat Building Graduate

"The BBA prepares you perfectly for the boat building industry, and in my case Spirit Yachts. The boats are bigger, but the fundamentals are the same and it’s much easier to scale up than down"

Jack Firth, 40-week Boat Building Graduate

The Boat Diaries

Discover our boat building diaries. Follow the construction and progress of the boats currently being built in our workshop, as well as those built on our previous 40-week boat building courses.

20′ Looe traditional clinker diesel launch

- Ben Short
Read More

14′ carvel & cold moulded Riva Scoiattolo, outboard powered

- Tom Thorley
Read More

14′ glued carvel Crosby catboat TRIO

- Andrew Streeter
Read More

16’6″ Carvel Gorran Haven Crabber

- Richard Pisani
Read More

20′ Stitch & Glue Motor Cruiser

- Oisin Conway
Read More

SUPPORT FUTURE BOAT BUILDING AND FURNITURE MAKING STUDENTS BY MAKING A BURSARY DONATION ONLINE

We aim to provide financial help to men and women passionate to train in the crafts of boat building and woodworking.

Recent News and Events

Launch Day, June 2024

Congratulations to the Class of August 2023! 🎉 ‘Launch Day’ has marked the end of their time at the Boat Building Academy

Solar Panel plan for Boat Building Academy approved!

DORSET Council has agreed that solar panels can be added to the Boat Building Academy at Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis. The council

Lyme Regis celebrates gig’s first world championship appearance.

A new wooden gig, partly-built at the Boat Building Academy (BBA) in Lyme Regis, has made its debut at the World Pilot Gig Championships 2024.

Launch Day, June 2024

Congratulations to the Class of August 2023! 🎉 ‘Launch Day’ has marked the end of their time at the Boat Building Academy

Solar Panel plan for Boat Building Academy approved!

DORSET Council has agreed that solar panels can be added to the Boat Building Academy at Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis. The council

Lyme Regis celebrates gig’s first world championship appearance.

A new wooden gig, partly-built at the Boat Building Academy (BBA) in Lyme Regis, has made its debut at the World Pilot Gig Championships 2024.

Spaces available on our flagship Boat Building course

Spaces available on our 12-week furniture making course

Book our short courses online