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Boat-building apprentices at a London
charity have got two of our race-worn Waterman Cutters ship-shape for competition.

Teenagers at The AHOY Centre in Deptford have done an excellent job of repairing, sanding and varnishing Centurion and Penelope, after the two 34ft-long vessels were left in their capable hands late last year. The youths are part of AHOY’s Sailability Team, kids from a wide range of backgrounds, some with disabilities, who gain vital life skills and recognised qualifications at the centre.

Under the watchful eye of tutors Will Austin and Tim Foyle, the boat workshop has proved to be a huge success. Its reputation for doing a fine job has grown and some of London’s top rowing teams have already had their craft refurbished there.

PLA rower Lee Walker said: “I first heard that AHOY were putting together a sailing and row boat workshop by word of mouth. Then, after speaking to a lead rower at the Thames Traditional Rowing Association I learned that he was having a new boat built to order by AHOY.”
Lee visited AHOY and saw that the

craftsmen and their apprentices had
done an excellent job refurbishing
Trinity House’s rowing cutter, which
won three categories in last year’s
Great River Race.

“Our cutters Penelope and Centurion
were scheduled for a makeover this
year, as they had both been in
constant use over the last few seasons. Will, Tim and the team have done a
great job in the prep and both boats
look magnificent.”

Tutor Will said: “The young people
come from various disadvantaged backgrounds and some have disabilities, but when they put their mind to something, those things fade into the background. And they’ve really put their minds to getting the Centurion and Penelope in good nick.

“The AHOY is a place for them to come and make new friends, to do something productive and learn vital skills that
could help them get a job in the future. They could even work for us.”

The AHOY centre is a watersports-based charity that changes people’s lives and helps develop their life skills via sailing and rowing activities.


Port of London Authority, London River House, Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, Kent DA12 2BG. +44 (0) 1474 562200
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