From Portsmouth to the Golden Hinde


From Portsmouth to the Golden Hinde

Jack Jones was one of the first students to join IBTC Portsmouth; coming to study here in July 2015, only 3 months after the College opened in April of the same year and before the move into Boathouse4.


“I’d felt an affinity with all things wood since my teenage years. This gradually led me towards wanting to become a boatbuilder; to me it is epitome of carpentry and wood craft. The whole process of using a natural material to create a vessel with all the curves, lines and profiles requires a rewarding level of expertise and skill.  To go further and make something that isn’t only usable and efficient but is also pleasing and beautiful to the eye is, to me, more than a job of work. It is a project where you and the whole team are immersed and can enjoy the journey and the end result together.”


Jack worked hard during his year at IBTC Portsmouth, but there was more to his time at the college than just that, “Boat building was a big change for me as I had previously been a site carpenter and it presented totally new ways of working and new problems that I had to work through. I made a lot of friends who came from all backgrounds and who all had different reasons for wanting to become boatbuilders. I am still very much in contact with all of them both professionally and socially”


Something that really stuck with him were the words of the then instructor Jim Brooke-Jones, “We are not engineers, nor are we artists. We are the grey area in between.”


After completing his studies, Jack worked for two years in the team restoring HMS Warrior, the 1860’s iron-clad warship in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, “The lead Shipwright, Sam Fletcher, and his team taught me and showed me that my learning had only just begun in this industry. They inspired me even more to be a Shipwright.” After that he moved on, “I then worked in Flensburg Germany on a racing yacht restoration and a short while after on Golden Hinde in London where again I was lucky enough to have Lead Shipwright (Toby Millinder) and team that would pull me aside to show me new tools, techniques and the ways of Shipwrights. On Golden Hinde I analysed and made assessments of timbers in situ, restored and reconstructed iroko carvel planking, did hull window and door fitting and joinery, made elm deadeyes, completed plank and timber repairs, made and fitted thresholds and participated with regular up keep and maintenance of a working dry dock.”


You can follow Jack and see images of some of his projects on Instagram - Jones_shipwrights