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Class of August 2022

The Class of August 2022 is currently in the second phase of the course, and have started working on the class boats:

12′ Strip plan ked sailing dinghy – Jon Tully
13′ stitch and glue sailing dinghy – Henry Dawson
14′ glued clinker outboard launch – Bijan Nabavi
16′ glued carvel day sailor – Andy Weimer
16′ cold moulded motor sailor – Mark Grant
18′ traditional clinker inboard launch – Phil Bevan

Max A

After working as an English teacher, Max decided to pursue boat building at the academy, combining the things he enjoyed the most: woodworking and boats. He hopes to find a job in the industry after the course.


Phil is a keen dinghy racer with a passion for sailing.  He has recently retired from his job as a mechanical engineer in the chemical industry and is looking to learn new skills. Whilst he is unsure about what will come after the course, he would like to combine his technical and innovation skills, with the newly acquired traditional skills in some way.


Matt came to Lyme Regis from North Yorkshire to train at the Academy. He always had an interest for woodwork, however he did not have the time or the opportunity to dedicate himself to learn the skills. As he also had a love for boat and sailing, the 40-week boat building course offered everything he was looking for. He described this time as one in a lifetime opportunity to train and live in Lyme Regis, with a talented team of people. Matt hopes to be able to run his own small workshop one day, making bespoke woodworking projects.

Mark C

Instead of going to university, Mark entered the work place straight away. He worked in e-commerce and customer service for many years but found it unfulfilling, with repetitive days with no end goal in sight. Boat building has given him the ambition and satisfaction of working towards a tangible finish product. He believes working with your hands requires a development of dexterity and strength, that he wishes to further develop. Hoping that returning to this more traditional trade will land him a more fulfilling career, and if it all goes well, one day he hopes to live on a yacht restored by himself.


Henry joined the course after finishing sixth form, he wanted to learn and refine his woodworking skills, which have always been of interest to him, before attending university. He hopes to one day work in the marine industry.

Mark D

After so many years sailing, Mark was always intrigued by how boats were built. He did not fully appreciate the complexity until starting the course at the Academy, especially for a traditional build. He can now appreciate the descriptions for wooden boats and even attempt restoration projects himself. He mentioned he can’t fail to recommend spending time at the BBA


After 35 rewarding years as a geologist in the Australian mining industry Stefan wanted to try something very different and challenging. The 40-week Boat Building Course in Lyme Regis seemed to offer the ideal sabbatical for him and indeed, this well-taught, fun course has been proving to be ‘just the ticket’.

Mark G

For the last 20 years, Mark has worked as an IT management consultant. He previously attended marine college after leaving school and went to sea with merchant navy for 7 years.

Since then, he has maintained his love for the sea and have always dreamt of building his own boat. He hopes to continue to build a boat after obtaining the skills being taught at the Boat Building Academy.

Max H

Max used to work as a yacht skipper and instructor many years ago and has long enjoyed sailing and learning about boats. He has joined the BBA on sabbatical from a career in public policy, to reconnect with his old interests, gain a new set of hands-on, practical skills and to realise a long-held dream of being able to build and launch a boat.


After finishing school, Max didn’t want to go to university straight away, instead he wanted to gain practical experience and learn a skill beforehand. He had always enjoyed woodworking, therefore the course seemed to be the right option for him. He hopes to gain new experience in woodworking and maybe even pursue a career as a boat builder.


Bijan joined the course having had a variety of jobs, including in the army, as a UN refugee officer, as a management consultant and in the oil industry.  He is a (not hugely experienced) sailor and former power-boater.  He enjoys working with his hands and hopes that the course will teach him new skills to a high standard, and lead him in to the next phase of his career.


Hugh retired in December 2021 after 37 years in the IT industry. He joined the BBA to learn new skills without a definite objective at the end. He would like to work in one of the boat yards back at home but will take steps towards that as the course progresses.


As a former seagoing engineer Officer and latterly a physics teacher and head of outdoor education, Jon has decided to take a sabbatical as preparation for a potential career change. He has a lifetime love of boats and sailing and joins the Academy looking forward to both the creative and practical nature of the 40-week course. As an RYA instructor, Jon already enjoys coaching other people on the water. He hopes completing the course will help him to support and encourage others along their own boatbuilding journeys.


Rob joined the Boat Building Academy after a 37 year career as a Warfare Officer in the Royal Navy. Looking forward to a more practical second career in the marine industry, the long boat building coursed appealed as an ideal career transition phase and a chance to learn new skills. Open-minded about the future, Rob’s priority is to remain in Dorset and work closer to home. At this stage, his interest is in using traditional skills, potentially within boat restoration projects.


Andy has been drawn to boats and the water since his childhood, later in life he found his passion in classic wooden boats. Having sailed on several vessels and made films about them ( he got to know several boat builders and people around that community where he always felt very much at home. Andy always loved creating things and creating objects with his hands. Trying to get away from my daily work at the computer and  looking into ways of broadening his skills, he decided the boat building course would be a perfect way to do so. He is not sure what path his journey will take on after the course, but he hopes to combine his film and photography skills with his new boat building knowledge.

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