Boat Builder Apprenticeship Programme Details

Year 1

By the end of year one you will have started building simple pieces such as unit fronts for Oyster yachts, understanding time scales and our quality standards.

To enable you to do this you will learn a really broad range of essential skills from our experienced experts. They’ll show you how to understand drawings, how to hand cut basic joints, and how to set out and produce various pieces such as a tool box and coffee table. You will get to grips with using power tools correctly, understanding laminates and veneers, and be introduced to basic wood machinery.

Year 2

There are basically two parts to year two. The first half is a laminating module where you will spend time with leading specialists Dave Wilmshurst and Gary Dell and their teams learning different fibre glass techniques using resin and matt, basic construction and use of moulds and plugs, basic gel repairs and finishing gel coated surfaces. The second half of the year is spent with the polishing team learning how to prepare furniture for polishing, preparing and coating pre painted fillets, varnishing veneer faced plywood, seal coating, basic thinning techniques for varnish and paints and preparing and applying anti-foul.

Years 3 & 4

You will continue to learn more advanced specialist boat building skills, gaining valuable insights into both traditional and modern boat constructions. These will include cover marking out centre lines, templating and fitting a keel, installing a shaft, rudder, bow etc. You’ll be taught how to install a complete steering system, how to fit a passarelle, set out and lay a teak deck, cut out and fit additional bulk heads, trim windows and port lights, and general engine room construction, and more.

At the end of the course you will also have commissioning training which includes assisting with the stepping of the mast and boom, fitting of the sails and subsequent sea trials. You’ll also learn about the alarm system management of the boat, and get to grips with understanding operations of the different navigational systems of the boat, and the commissioning checks.