Marine Surveyor 'Training' at IBTC in Lowestoft

On going training for European Marine Surveyors   –   We do not stand still

Training in wood boat construction

Lofting                     Sweeping Iroko deck

I am Louis Bodmer a small boat surveyor with European Marine Services Ltd and very happy to announce I have completed my course in wooden boatbuilding and restoration at the International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) in Lowestoft.

The college is renown for its outstanding facilities and approach to tuition.

The course consist of 47 weeks and is divided with the first 12 weeks in a joinery course where a highly experienced joiner has lead us to feel confident and skilled enough to take on any joinery work in a boat.

Following this first 12 week period, we were thrown straight into a fully functional boatyard.  With over twenty boat projects on the go and extensive facilities availabling include modern machinery along with a Woodmiser in the timber yard, we were able to work with and build any / all components required for the restoration of wooden vessel or new builds.

Well not quite!  We still needed good instructors and clear instructions! And both were there ! With three instructors on site and a ratio of 1 to 6 for teaching plus varied short courses covering lofting, engine and boat systems, timber knowledge, rope work, GRP courses and more, we were increasing our knowledge every day

The Lowestoft College is set up as a proper boatyard where owners bring their own boats to be restored.  Most of the time the boats are beyond financial / viable restoration from commercial yards and wouldn’t be repaired / rebuilt without considerable investment and would end up being lost.  And this is the beauty of it, while keeping the long tradition of wooden boat builder alive we also participate in keeping the maritime heritage of those yachts alive and not part of a bonfire!

The labour and expertise is provided by the students and college and the owners make a contribution towards materials.  It might take a bit longer to reach completion but it is a good way to keep every one afloat.

There is a definite joy and pride in the process of building and restoring wooden boats, from practical lofting to picking up the lines for the templates to building the components and enjoying the shape of her coming to life!  As well as some less productive day when nothing will fit and the kettle looks more friendly than a curved spoke shave!

When I first join the course, I had in mind it will help in my profession as a surveyor gaining the in-depth knowledge of a boatbuilder and it is certainly paying off ! As a wooden boat is probably the trickiest construction type to survey and now with those skills

Consequently I am more informed and professional when undertaking surveys and able to provide advice based upon training, expertise and background knowledge to EMS clients.

So after those long 47 weeks learning and honing skills, I have now finished with Distinction in the College Diploma and City & Guilds 2463 Level 3.

As a qualified surveyor and part of European Marine Services Ltd (incl. European Marine Surveys) I am based locally in Norfolk, East Anglia and am very happy to meet you when undertaking inspections and surveys plus recommendations regarding your boat

Turning Swan                       View of yard

Information:             Lowestoft IBTC

For your information Andy the manager would more than happy answering any queries in regard to their courses.  Their website address is

Please give him a call

For more information contact European Marine Services Ltd    (inc European Marine Surveys)          Tel :  01603 327 123