Surveyors Learn about Wooden Boats

The Yacht Designers and Surveyors Association (YDSA) recently organised a course on Surveying Wooden Boats as part of their on going training programme. The venue, at Faversham Creek on the River Swale, Kent provided the ideal setting for the event.  Twenty five delegates, including members from Turkey and Ireland, enjoyed a full day’s programme. The YDSA was pleased to welcome members with a range of experience, including recent graduates from the International Boatbuilding Training College.

Experienced Committee members Martin Evans and Tony Tucker, both with specialist knowledge of timber boats, led the presentations focusing on the detail and precision required for wooden boats surveying.  The afternoon commenced with a visit to Alan Staley’s boatyard giving participants a useful opportunity to view a variety wooden boats in varying stages of repair. The programme culminated in a tour of the famous wooden Thames sailing barge ‘The Cambria’ which is currently undergoing complete restoration. The rebuilding of this famous vessel built in Kent in 1906 highlights not only the skill of the shipwrights but the complicated nature of wooden boat building. The YDSA is grateful to the Cambria Trust for their involvement enabling delegates to explore the barge in depth.

Course delegate Matt West of Marine Surveys UK based in Emsworth, recently promoted from IBTC graduate membership to Affiliate member, said;

‘My background is in GRP both as a sailor and surveyor so it was fascinating to learn so much about wooden boats. The day was well organised with excellent speakers and a stimulating programme. It was also a good opportunity to meet other surveyors, including fellow graduates and ask advice. Visiting the boatyard and the Cambria brought the morning sessions to life and reinforced the intricacies of wooden boat surveying.’

The next training courses, on Survey Report Writing and Certifying Authority Training, will be held on Thursday 21st October at the YDSA office in Petersfield. Delegates are credited with three CDP points following attendance on these courses.

For more information or to reserve a place contact Kay Greenwood on 01730 710425 or email
To find out more about YDSA log onto

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