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Speakers announced for Shipwrights Lectures 2015

September 3, 2015

The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights has released this year’s programme of prestigious speakers. Now in its fifth year, the annual lectures invite industry leaders from the marine sector to inform and inspire younger apprentices, shipwrights and graduates about the breadth, opportunities and career paths available in the UK’s unique and dynamic marine industry.

Berthon are pleased to announce that two Berthon Apprentices, Nathan Smith (2nd Year Marine Engineer) and Jack Gunstone-Smith (4th Year Shipwright) will be opening proceedings – giving an insight into the industry, undertaking an apprenticeship and what that means to them, including their chance participation in the Long Voyage Home.


FPB 64 GREY WOLF ahead of the Long Voyage Home with Berthon Apprentices

The Long Voyage Home was a shakedown sail of epic proportions, on-board the FPB 64 GREY WOLF designed by Steve Dashew. This delivery trip covered 12,600 nautical miles in 102 days, from the FPB build yard at Circa Marine in Whangarei New Zealand, and back to the UK, via the Panama Canal, with Berthon apprentices having the opportunity to join the owner Peter Watson on-board for each leg of the journey.

Berthon Apprentices for Shipwrights Lecture

The Berthon Shipwrights with GREY WOLF owner Peter Watson and the editor of the Long Voyage home Tom Cunliffe


Jack Gunstone-Smith enjoyed a few weeks of working in the yard where with these world girdling vessels are built, giving him valuable experience and was the Berthon Apprentice that kicked off the long voyage home with leg one from Whangarei (just north of Auckland) to Tahiti. Read all of Jack’s Blogs here – GREY WOLF Leg 1

Nathan Smith took over the reins for Leg 3, taking GREY WOLF through the Panama Canal and across the Caribbean Sea, and some of the Atlantic to Bermuda. Read all the blogs from Nathan here – GREY WOLF Leg 3

Berthon is the European agent for the Steve Dashew designed FPB series – 64, 78 and 97, described as a paradigm shift for motor yachting. Offering exceptional sea keeping and vast range, the FPB series has been developed from the FPB 83 WINDHORSE which has sailed over 60,000 nautical miles.

Find out more about this incredible yachts – FPB Motor Yachts

Alongside our apprentices at the Shipwrights Lectures will be:-

Technical Editor of Yachting World – Matt Sheahan chairing a group of six leading specialists on the topic: “Marine Propulsion – Past, Present and Future.”

Henk Weikens, joint founder and shareholder at Pendennis Shipyard.

This year’s closing words will be given by Charles Hunter-Pease, Chairman of the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea.

The Shipwrights’ Lectures were first held in 2011 and today attract apprentices from highly successful companies in the marine industry. The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights’ Annual Lectures are free for apprentices, young shipwrights, students and graduates. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance.

Taking place on Wednesday 28th October 14:30 – Turner Sims, University of Southampton – Registration can be made online at:

Berthon has been deeply involved with the Shipwrights Ark Appeal. Having gained £850K of government funding in 2009 to initiate an Apprenticeship Expansion Pilot, to fund 15 businesses (13 new to training) to employ 60 new apprentices in the marine sector, at the depth of the recession and all competitors to Berthon. Lloyds Register Foundation then made a substantial donation to compliment other private donations to the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights ARK APPEAL in 2014. Some 20 apprentices are being funded this September in marine SMEs around the UK as a result.

With a graduation success rate above 95% over the past 5 years, and advocating advice and mentoring for both apprentices and SMEs, Berthon continues to help improve marine apprenticeships across the industry by becoming the Chair for the Marine Industry Trailblazer on bringing the boat building syllabus up to date, ensuring that apprenticeship training is fit for purpose and following the government’s strategy that apprenticeship training should be employer led. Changes to the marine engineering and marine electrics/electronics follows next year.

To find out more about apprenticeships at Berthon please visit: Berthon Marine Apprenticeships

To find out more about the Worshipful Company of Shipwright’s apprentice funding scheme for marine SMEs, visit: Shipwrights Apprenticeship Scheme

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