Lee served in the 7th Parachute Regiment R.H.A and worked in Iraq, Afghanistan and the UK as a security consultant and bodyguard. Eventually it was time to look for a more family friendly career. Boat building ticked all the boxes. To get him started in the industry Lee took the 40-week Boat Building Course and built a carvel Seabird half rater, the oldest class 1 design still sailing.
When he finished the course Lee struggled to find a boat building job in the right area and went back to hostile environment training for the government.Three months later he found two appropriate jobs and was offered a job with Douglas Marine in Preston. Lee chose the yard because it was busy with very varied work. On day two he was promoted to Foreman; his military approach and management skills had impressed his new employers. As of February 2017 Lee has been at Douglas Marine for almost a year managing boat work, staff and Health and Safety. He tells us that they have a wide mix of projects from steel hulled launches, traditional wooden fishing boats, the occasional GRP new build as well as repairs on boats from 12ft to 45ft and ‘everything in-between’. Lee’s day to day jobs include anti-fouling, engine repairs and servicing, fibre glassing and gel coat repairs, fitting electronic aids, metal fabrication and welding, wood repairs and interior fit outs, mooring services, crane lifts and boat moves.
Lee says ‘The course was a great foundation for working at Douglas Marine, but it is hard work being thrown in at the deep end. There are so many boats that you need years of experience to be fully rounded. But the BBA course is very well regarded and my boss is keen to get other Boat Building Academy graduates on board.’
Lee sent us a list of the yard’s current projects –
- 1930s steel hulled gentleman’s launch re-plating below the water line and new skeg and rudder tackle and full interior fit out.
- Boesch 560 1960s V8 speed boat engine fitted and renovation.
- Mersey Milne carvel planked one design yacht new sister frames and full paint finish
- Whitby coble fishing boat turning it from a commercial craft to recreational boat for an owner full engine overhaul and complete strip down on clinker planks and frames and finish. New sub deck and foreign deck and rewire.
- Four new builds of Predator 16.5 GRP fishing boats built from scratch.
- Six Westerly Vulcan full above the LWL refurbishment including deck and coach roof.
- Canal boat new steel doors built.