Boat Building and Woodworking Training


Founded in 1997, the Boat Building Academy aims to refocus the art of craftsmanship and, while graduates do go to work for the larger mass-production boat builders, they are equally at home in smaller yards with varied work in wood and composites, or working for themselves building or restoring boats to commission. Some students use the skills they have gained on the 38 week boat building or 8 week woodworking course to set up as joiners or furniture makers.

All of the boat building or woodworking courses at the Academy are intensive and highly practical, with at least 90% of student’s time spent in the workshop; classroom time is kept to a minimum. In addition to gaining expertise in the practice and underpinning theory of boat building and allied fields (e.g. woodworking skills) some students also have the opportunity to build their own boats as part of the long course. Few places in the world offer this as part of an internationally recognized qualification.

The reputation of the Academy in the marine industry is such that we are regularly approached by companies who want to recruit people who can hit the ground running, have confidence in a wide range of practical skills and understand the theories of boat construction and finishing. For employers the more mature of the students bring a wealth of life experience to any job and the younger graduates have a maturity born from being part of a group consisting of people of different ages and backgrounds living and working closely together.

lyme regis harbor

Training Programs

Boat Building Programs

  • City & Guilds 2463 Level 3 Certificate in Boat Building, Maintenance and Support (38 weeks): This is the flagship program for which the Academy gained its international reputation as a world-leading boat building training school. As part of the course some students have the opportunity to build a boat for them to take away at the end of the course. There are two start dates per year; March through to December and September through to June. The end of each course is celebrated with the launch of course boats into Lyme Regis harbor. For those students who are considering starting their own business after the course the school has an excellent working relationship with Business Link who offers seminars and ongoing advice to Academy students.
  • City & Guilds 6218 Level 1 Certificate in Basic Construction Skills (Woodworking Skills - 8 weeks): While the Woodworking Skills program is certified by City & Guilds, the syllabus is much wider than City & Guilds requirements. This is reflected in the additional award of a Boat Building Academy certificate. Students learn about wood and working with wood - from trees and wood selection through to jointing, laminating and bending. The training is based on the foundation phase of the 38 week boat building course. It aims to equip students with the confidence and practical skills that will enable them to work in the woodworking industry. Practical sessions form the vast majority of the course and comprehensive handouts cover all aspects, both theory and practical.

Short Course Programs

  • Build a Boat–Initial Set-up
  • Traditional Wooden Boat Building
  • Modern Wooden Boat Building
  • Oar Making
  • Rope Work and Wire Splicing
  • Renovation and Finishing
  • Wooden Boat Restoration
  • Sail Making
  • Basic Woodworking Skills
  • Half Model Making
  • Lofting Courses
  • Bespoke Courses