“Get as much out of this incredible experience as you can”
19-year-old Alex Hancock started the 47-week Boatbuilding course in 2015 just a week after finishing his A-level exams. He tells us about his experience:
I had always intended to take a gap year before going to university, so when my Dad, who is the director of Classic Hand Tools Ltd, told me about this course, it looked like a great way to spend a year!
I remember arriving on the first day having had no prior woodworking experience; the box of tools I carried into the workshop was completely alien to me. As soon as I met Ian Cook, however, my nerves subsided. Ian’s great sense of humour and enthusiasm was extremely comforting and soon enough I was getting stuck in, using a plane for the first time!
In the past year I have learnt a lot about boats and building them, and whilst I’ve found the course incredibly hard work, the satisfaction I receive from the progress I’m making makes it all worth it.
Although I may never actually be a boat-builder, doing this course has given me a great set of practical and transferable skills that I can carry with me throughout my life. As I prepare to leave to start my Philosophy Degree in London, my brother arrives at IBTC Lowestoft next month to begin his gap year. To him I say, “Enjoy! Get as much out of this incredible experience as you can.”