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Students help bring back classic boat from the brink

Published: March 22, 2018

Falmouth Marine School Falmouth Marine School

Boatbuilding students from Falmouth Marine School have just completed the restoration of a 40 year old Cornish rowing association skiff.

She is believed to have been built by Falmouth boat builder Dicky George, and was rescued from decrepitude on the Isles of Scilly by local boat builder, Dave Cockwell.

One of the students who worked on the project is retired Bill Sharpe from Truro, who previously served 36 years in the Army.

“The sciff was very tired and neglected when it came to us, but underneath was a beautiful boat with great lines. We reinforced the structure and gave her a complete refurbishment, which revealed the beautiful slops and design,” he said.

Bill is making the most of his retirement and personally funds his tuition fees for his course. “I have always been interested in boats and I was attracted to the practical nature of the Boatbulding and Restoration course, it combines work-based skills with art and design,” he added.

Dave, owner of Cockwells Boatbuilders, supplied all the materials and generously replenished Falmouth Marine School’s stores, to further support the students.

He said: “I am very impressed with the standard of work carried out by the students. I have provided them with a few live projects over the years as I believe it’s important to support the next generation of skilled boatbuilders”.

Cockwells boatbuilders currently employ two boatbuilding students part-time to fit in around their studies, together with employing over 70 employees, many of whom are previous Falmouth Marine School students.

Programme Manager at Falmouth Marine School, Jonny Mills commented: “It’s great for us and our students that we have strong relationships with the local industry. This is one of a number of collaborative projects that we are currently undertaking with the local marine sector, which helps students to gain practical work experience, and is a showcase for their developing talents. It also assists them with employment either alongside their course or on completion.”

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