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Boat Building, Woodworking, Joinery and Furniture Training in Lowestoft, UK

ibtc lowestoft

Building boats since 1975, International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) has been originally set up to help Norfolk and Suffolk Broads yards get skilled graduates to manage their yards. The college trains students from all backgrounds and trains almost anyone who has the motivation to learn. The advantage at IBTC is that the students will work on real projects.

The highly transferable nature of the skills taught opens opportunities for future careers such as green frame timber construction, furniture making, and many others as the joinery skills for a host of other applications.

IBTC also has a commercial unit and has grown considerably earning a reputation for wide ranging and classic projects. The earlier projects ranged from a major restoration of a 43’ 1936 Redningskoit, re-decking and rebuilding the aft cabin, wheelhouse and mizzen mast of the Lydia Eva, to building a new oak wheel for Woodbridge Tidemill.

ibtc boat

IBTC Boatbuilding Courses


Boat Building Programs

  • Practical Boatbuilding (47 weeks with option of City and Guilds 2463 levels 3): All students begin in the Joinery workshop where they will learn fundamental woodworking skills. After approximately 12 weeks students move on to the boatshed where they will work in a real boatyard environment.
  • Joinery and Furniture (47 weeks): Participants will start with a basic joinery course of approximately 12 weeks after which they will progress to more advanced skills and joints and look at furniture design.
  • Build Your Own Boat (24 weeks): At the end of the course you should have completed and launched a boat of up to 5m in length. Your skills should allow you to build further craft with similar build techniques, as well as using the transferable nature of these skills to develop further areas of expertise.
  • Woodworking & Joinery Skills (Foundtation): Forming the foundation element for both the 47 week boatbuilding and furniture courses it forms the backbone of the college from which boat builders develop. By the end of the course, you will have produced your own mallet, oil stone box, spirit level, bollow plane, oar, grating and hardwood tool chest to take away with you.
  • Small Boatbuilding (12 weeks): After this course you should be able to build your own small boat. All students begin with four weeks of practical woodworking in order to build up the necessary hand skills. After that, you will learn how to set up and build a small dinghy.
  • Woodworking Skills (12 weeks): In a practical way with lots of exercises you will learn how to use basic boatbuilding hand and power tools, identify woods used in boatbuilding, recognizing faults and flaws in timber, using glue properly and choose woods suitable for specific jobs.

Short Courses

  • Advanced Composite (4.5 days)
  • Advanced Composite Repair (1 day)
  • Basic Boat Plumbing and Electrics (2 days)
  • Caulking (2 days)
  • Glass Reinforced Plastics (4.5 days)
  • Introduction to woodwork (4.5 days)
  • Letter Carving (3 days)
  • Lofting Theory (2 days)
  • Painting and Varnishing (2 days)
  • Router Course (3 days)
  • RYA Diesel Engine (1 day)
  • Splicing and Ropework (2 days)
  • Tool Maintenance (1 day)
  • Traditional Rigging and Wirework (3 days)

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