Monday, 16 February 2015

Life of a Boat Builder Part Seven

Having completed my Boat building apprenticeship and needing to spread my wings, I left the boatyard on the Norfolk Broads and looked to go to another boatyard in the area. As I looked around it became obvious that my future did not at that time continue in the wooden boat building field, but in the Fibreglass part of the industry.

So started my time in the Fitting out of fibreglass boats, I know that is is not as challenging as building a wooden boat from scratch. But it did give me a knowledge and understanding of how these modern constructed boats were build and how they differed from the boats I had been building and repairing up until this time.

The Boatyard I did go to built a range of both motorboats and yachts and the work was interesting in as much as I got to work on the whole range of boats. So this gave me a understanding of the different methods of construction across a wide range of sizes from 16 foot up to 33 foot and a few special project boats along the way.

It was at this time I start to spent my weekends and holidays sailing offshore, both cruising and racing around the East Coast of the UK. In the mid 1980's I got the chance to sail in a completion to find the next crews for the major national and international racing circuit. I did well at this and was asked to sail of some of the east and south coast racing yachts which I did for the next 3 to 4 years.

At this time the family bought a 25 foot sailing yacht and then up sized to a 33 foot yacht which was  moved to down to Woodbridge and then Ipswich where I still sail from to this day.

It was during my time in Ipswich that I got my chance to move into the larger boat building  part of my life as a boat builder and moved to a large boatyard in Ipswich. It was from there I would get to work on a number of large ocean going yachts and delivery a few of them and become a skipper of one of these yachts and sail it from the UK to the Med and then back to the UK after a few years when the owner moved on to other projects.       

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