Shipwright School

Interested in developing your boatbuilding skills?

IBTC Portsmouth: Shipwright School at Buckler’s Yard

Our new ‘satellite’ at Buckler’s Hard aims to give you an appreciation and understanding of the techniques and skills of the shipwrights of the 17th and 18th Century, and the site where many of the ships of Nelson’s Navy were built.

What is taught at Buckler’s Yard?

As well as as developing an understanding of the techniques and skills of the shipwrights of the 17th and 18th Century, students will also learn about arboriculture, (the science of growing trees), the species that we use in boat and shipbuilding and how they are grown to best advantage. Students are also taught about felling and conversion (making best use of) timber including how best to store it.

Shipwright School Facilities

Currently we have a purpose built green oak timber framed building, from which courses are run. The site will be further developed with build of a saw pit for hand sawing of logs, a blacksmith’s shop to manufacture all the fastenings that we will use and to teach blacksmith skills for a wide variety of historic ship’s hardware requirements. You will also learn the skills required to use adzes, side and felling axes, draw knives, froes and shaving horses.

Buckler’s Hard is a preserved 17th/18th Century ship yard village where a successful commercial shipbuilding yard was run for over 100 years. It also played a significant part in WWII as a major repair facility for Coastal forces Craft, and as an assembly point for the D Day Landings, 6th June 1944.

Course Details

The aim of this course is to give you an appreciation of and sympathy with the methods used to build the likes of HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, Kathleen & May and many of the other larger historic vessels that require work around our shores.

Barbara Czoch is our lead shipwright instructor. She has worked in green woodwork and carpentry on variety of projects around the world including North and Central America, France, Norway and Poland for the last 20 years. To name a few, she has been involved in the Making History-Astrid’s House Project, building the Harcourt Arboretum Craft Shelter and the reconstruction of frame of a Synagogue in Poland, which has been destroyed in WW2.

This element of the 47 week course is held over one, one week session.


If you are interested in our Boat Building courses, then get in touch today!