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Symposium on Traditional Wooden Boat Building Skills

23 August 2022

Deadline: October 8, 2022

On Saturday 8th October from 10am-4pm, Heritage Crafts’ Symposium on Traditional Wooden Boat Building Skills will be held at the Bristol Create Centre.

This symposium brings to attention the rich maritime tradition in the UK, the community of craftspeople who focus on traditional wooden boating building and the case for these skills to be added to the Red List of Endangered Crafts.

With support from the Pilgrim Trust, this symposium brings together a panel of industry experts who will give presentations, hold discussions and actively consult with all participants.

The event is free to attend, refreshments will be provided. You can find out more about this event and how to book here.


  • Gail McGarva is a traditional wooden boat builder. Her specialist area is the building of replicas, or as she prefers to call them ‘daughterboats’, breathing life into a new generation of traditional boats. Gail integrates her work as a traditional boat builder with her work as a speaker and workshop facilitator, bringing to life the stories all boats have to tell about their communities and their shores.
  • Colin Henwood is a boat builder with 40 years of experience in building, restoring and caring for wooden boats on the Thames. He is the current Chair of the Wooden Boat Builders Trade Association. He also writes, teaches practical boat building skills and provides consultancy on traditional wooden boats.
  • Eivind Falk is Director of Håndverksinstituttet the Norwegian Crafts Institute. In 2019 he was instrumental in supporting the nomination of Nordic clinker boat traditions for inscription on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, an international acknowledgement that the building and use of Nordic clinker-built boats should be preserved for the future.
  • Stephen Beresford is Senior Conservator, Chartered Engineer and Maritime Heritage Consultant at Windermere Jetty Museum. He is also a skilled traditional boat builder with a passion for conserving historic vessels.
  • Will Reed is Principal of the Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis. Will is a passionate maker and has spent many years working professionally as a furniture designer/maker and boat builder. Teaching has always been an important part of life and through the BBA Will helps to pass on the knowledge through first class training.


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