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Boat Building


Whether starting a career or pursuing a hobby, you can join us from 2 days to 40 weeks, learning boat building in a professional immersive environment, surrounded by women and men from different walks of life with the shared passion for building and maintaining boats

City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Boatbuilding (Advanced) (2473-03)

40-Week Boat Building Course

For many this is professional training, and for others a chance to follow a dream for the sheer joy of building boats surrounded by likeminded enthusiasts and our expert tutors.

From lofting to planking, joinery to rigging, you’ll be immersed from the start.
Always striving for excellence, the staff team and students aim high. The outstanding boats that are produced and the rewarding careers that follow are testament to the dedication and hard work of all involved. The training is practical and highly structured and will serve you well on whatever path you follow.

Short Courses

Two to five day courses in specific aspects of boat building, woodworking and related skills. The short courses are suitable for complete beginners, people wishing to add or hone a particular skill and people who just want to spend a few days by the sea learning something practical.

“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

Take a look at some of our students work in ‘the Boat Diaries'