Course Duration: 47 Weeks – £17,590 for 2024
Course runs Mon-Thurs 08.00-16.30, Fri 08.00-12.30
Bursaries of up to 50% are now open for UK citizens between the ages 18 to 40. To apply please fill in our bursary form.
Don’t Just Learn to Build a Boat. Learn to be a Boatbuilder.
Our award-winning boatbuilding course covers the skills required to build and maintain boats. With an emphasis on learning through practical application of skills you will work on a wide range of boatbuilding projects, under the expert supervision of our knowledgeable instructors in our working boatyard. Upon successful completion you will be awarded the internationally recognised and coveted IBTC Diploma in boatbuilding along with City and Guilds 2473 level 3.
High standards of accuracy and finish are set from the start and all students must successfully complete our joinery skills course, which depending on previous experience will take up to 15 weeks. You will then move into the boat shed and commence working on a variety of boatbuilding projects. You will work on a wide range of craft including new builds, restoration and renovation projects. All our boats have real owners ensuring the skills and knowledge you acquire are forged on real projects. We believe this is essential for students to become genuine boatbuilders.
Starting in January 2024, you will have the option of beginning our full-time course throughout the year. Our new flexible timetable will also mean that our course can be completed in blocks, perfect for fitting around other commitments you may have.
Interested in our Boatbuilding course but not sure if you can commit for a whole year? Get in touch with us to discuss options for doing the course in agreed learning blocks over a timescale that suits you.
Today’s boat builder needs a wide variety of skills. You must understand the proper use of wood and G.R.P. (glass reinforced plastics), and must have an understanding of how engines, plumbing and electrics systems are installed. You must know how to cost your work. You must be aware of new technology and yet be able to repair or restore boats built fifty years ago or more.
Being able to build a boat beautifully is not enough. It may give tremendous self- satisfaction, however, at the end of the day, it must also lead to being able to provide reasonably comfortably for yourself and your family. It is for this reason that the IBTC, uniquely, ensures that its instructors are not only expert in their professions but also have real world proven, successful, experience in the boatbuilding business.
The IBTC Concept of Training Experience has shown that training opportunities limited to just two or three boats is totally insufficient – which is why the IBTC always has a wide variety of boats, both large and small, at different stages of construction at any one time. This ensures that there is always a boat available and at a stage which will enable trainees to build skills in a truly systematic and properly structured way. You do not have to wait for a boat to reach a certain stage of construction before you are able to move on, and you are always able to continue to the next stage of learning once you have satisfactorily completed each exercise. It is a very important concept of IBTC training that the boats built, repaired or restored as training exercises are only worked on whenever they present the opportunity for appropriately timed exercises for students. High standards of accuracy and finish are set from the start of each course. Our concept of training enables our students to cover and learn the wide range of skills in our training programme in the shortest time possible. It ensures, too, that by the end of their course, you will have the ability and confidence to build, repair or restore a boat. Almost all learning is through practical exercises, (learning by doing), with the essential knowledge element fed in by instructors at the relevant moment. This huge amount of practical experience is one of the many reasons why IBTC students remain head and shoulders above others.
The course concentrates heavily on traditional wooden boat construction and repair, (there is a worldwide shortage and need for people with these skills). A solid foundation in woodworking skills remains a vital element in the professional training of any boat builder and our boatbuilding course starts with the assumption that you know absolutely nothing about woodworking.
The trainee follows a series of modules through which they progress at their own pace. The modules are of different duration, some taking just a few days to complete, and others taking a number of weeks.
Any effective programme of learning must be structured and systematic so that trainees are able to build up their knowledge in a way that suits them. Every part of every module of training at the IBTC has been carefully developed and honed throughout the years to ensure that you are able to progress and succeed throughout each stage of the training, with each stage building on the stage before.
The overall student/instructor ratio is maintained at never more than 12:1, (for much of the time it is 1:1), so that students move at their own pace throughout the course. Obviously some students will move faster than others – for some have previous woodworking experience, whilst others have none at all. Obviously, too, there is a minimum speed at which students can progress, otherwise they would not be able to complete the course in the time available! A realistic time is specified for each exercise and project and, as the course progresses, these times are towards the ‘competitive’ time needed when earning one’s living by boatbuilding. Apprentices are treated individually throughout, with each exercise and project being carefully selected from the vast number available; so as to suit their particular needs at the time.
The Training Modules
Below are the modules which will be covered in this course. For more detailed information regarding each module, please download the course prospectus.
- Woodworking Skills
- Boat Joinery and Spar Making
- GRP Laminating and Bonding
- Fixing Units of Furniture
- Jig and Mould Making
- Dinghy Building
- Deck Laying
- Fixing Hull and Deck Fittings – Wood and GRP
- Fitting Engine Bearers and Shafts
- Splicing and Rigging
- Painting and Varnishing
- GRP Boat Repairs
- Wood Boat Repairs and Restoration
- Advanced Joinery and Pattern Making
- New Cruising Yacht Construction
- Wooden Boat Repairs and Restoration (Advanced)
- Boat Finishing