Build a Boat at School and Learn to Sail
Brighter Days for Students (and Tutors)
Its a chance for schools to come alive! Here is a project where students will enjoy learning new skills. Its easy on the tutor too. Were going to build a boat and learn to sail!
FireBug yacht building in the classroom is becoming very popular. Students and tutors alike thoroughly enjoy the experience. Its a creative and satisfying project, watch the kids almost burst with pride as their boat is rigged for the first time.
And wait theres more, with the boat complete there is the option of learning to sail in the boat they have built themselves! Click here to download the flyer.
The Design is Optimised for Beginners
The construction has a simple setout and self checking features. There is no complicated bending or laminating. The plans, colour illustrated instructions and full size patterns cover the subject well and help is available by phone or email from FireBug HQ.
In New Zealand the Bug building project attracts special funding under the Outdoor Education Programs and also the Star Program where, as part of the Seamless Education Initiative successful senior students receive credits into tertiary courses.
Its a popular project - there have been reports of children actually working on after school hours and regularly taking their friends into the workshop proudly showing off their boats! One technology tutor commented that all his 12 senior students saw out their final year, hardly missing a lesson while most of their classmates dropped out during the year. Students commonly build the boats in groups of 4 or 5.
Building Supplied etc...
Building supplies such as timber, plywood, glue, etc can all be easily obtained locally or in Australia and New Zealand from nominated suppliers. Other gear, sails, spars, deck hardware etc is commonly supplied directly from FBHQ by mail, airfreight or courier virtually worldwide.
All the Kids Afloat
The Ilminster Intermediate School in Gisborne New Zealand, built themselves a fleet of four boats. They acquired a sponsored rescue boat and a special boat/caravan trailer. The trailer is fully enclosed, converting to a caravan with folding out bunks for the sailors when they are away on inter-school challenges. One season, in conjunction with the local club, all 300 pupils, 11 - 13 year olds, had a sail.
This building and sailing program improved the schools popularity to the point where the other school in town (previously more popular) catering for the same age group also had to acquire a fleet to avoid a decreasing role!
Flying Fish and Turtles
The Ranwadi Christian School in the Vanuatu Islands enjoyed building a Bug during the 2003 year. The island children arent normally sailors so were amazed to be on the water under sail. The teacher reported: We had a good sail yesterday for about 4 hours. On one trip we were sailing through flying fish and later got within five metres of two big turtles heading for the beach. Exciting! The boat moved nicely with a good breeze and two on board, me and a student, about 130kg!
At Christchurchs Cathedral College the students each built a 1/5 scale model to familiarize themselves before going on to do a set of four full sized boats. The boats were completed and sailed with some assistance from the local sailing club. Since then the boats have been sold to boost school funds. The photo at right shows the launching ceremony.
Unfamiliar with Boats?
The planpack is fully comprehensive with a glossary of sailing terminology but some sailing or boating knowledge is always handy. Often the local sailing club, a sailing parent or retired sailing person can provide advice or in New Zealand, Auckland's Unitec Marine Technology Department. And dont hesitate to contact Peter at FBHQ for advice.