Join traditional wooden boat builder Gail McGarva for a 2-day 'Disappearing Lines' workshop at the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis, Dorset. 

The project Disappearing Lines seeks to shine a light on endangered boats and their communities by inspiring people through a one-day workshop in traditional wooden boat building and a talk on endangered craft. The aim of the project is to help preserve the lineage of the endangered vessels, the craft of traditional wooden boat building and give voice to the living history of our coastal communities.

Gail McGarva is a traditional wooden boat builder, specialising in the building of replicas of boats in danger of extinction, which has been recognised in a British Empire Medal.  In 2017 she was awarded an Arts Council Individual Grant for the Arts in support of the Story Boat Project.  The Story Boat is a miniature maritime museum that Gail created from the upturned boat Vera from 1923, giving her a new lease of life on land as the keeper of memories and encapsulates Gail’s passion for the preservation of traditional craft.  The on-going work of the Story Boat Project is an integration of Gail’s work as a boat builder, workshop facilitator and teller of stories.

This project Disappearing Lines is inspired by the story of Vera and the sense of urgency that many of our working boats like her are in danger of extinction.  Equally the craft of traditional wooden boat building and building by eye are endangered skills.

The Disappearing Lines workshop is a combination of practical hands-on activities interwoven with capturing the stories of craft in danger of extinction. The workshop will give participants the opportunity to try their hand at two key processes in traditional wooden boat building – steam bending and copper-rivet fastening. Through Gail’s demonstration and tutoring, they will create their own miniature oak ribcage of a boat, a ghost ship symbolising the disappearing lines of the craft.  Participants will not need to be skilled in woodwork and it will be accessible to all ages.  Gail will tailor the delivery of the workshop to suit the participants.

The workshop will also bring to life examples of working boats in danger of extinction.  If pertinent to the area or group, participants will be invited to bring their own memory objects linked to a local boat that is endangered or lost and share the narrative attached to it.

Dates: 22-23 June, 10.00-4.00pm both days

Location: Boat Building Academy, Lyme Regis

Cost: £140 

For more information and to book a place, please contact the Boat Building Academy via email or phone here.


Read more about Disappearing Lines and the Boat Building Academy, both Shipshape Network South West projects. 

Gail McGarva

Region South West