Hi i’m dave sommerville, I’m twenty years old, and I’m an apprentice shipwright. A shipwright is basically someone that maintains a boat, renovates, modifies. I do carpentry, fibreglass work, depending on what boat’s you’re working on. It could be anything. I’ve refitted out gallies and cabins. Done teaklaid decks, fibreglass repairs, minor and major ones.
Cleaning boats sometimes just buffing and polishing. Antifouling boats, painting the bottom of em’ to keep the barnacles off. Spraypainting repairs, varnish work. I’ve always been on boats and around boats since as long as I could remember. I did alright at school. When I was in year ten planning on going to university, I wanted to do industrial design, and that was my original plan.
I only found out about this about twelve months before i finished school. But I’ve always been on boats. And yeah a friend of the family did this and he put me onto this job. I started when I finished year twelve. And in 2003 I started my apprenticeship. It’s a four year apprenticeship Three years at going to TAFE one day a week, and one year just completely on tools. I do all kinds of stuff at TAFE at the moment. I’ve been doing marine drafting which is pretty complicated.
Just the drawing of boats and i’ve been doing traditional timberwork, planking and fibreglassing. Doing spray repairs and some metalwork. Boats are generally completely made from fibreglass now, timber isn’t really used. Fibreglass is stronger, doesn’t rot. That’s just the way it’s done now. Most of the stuff that I’ve learnt I don’t just do on the job.
A, tafe teaches you safety, occupational health and safety stuff guidelines that you should follow by and how materials can be carcinogenic and affect you and what precautions should be taken. And they answer any questions that your boss might not know the answer to. But yeah most of the stuff I’ve learnt, I’ve learnt on the job. Mal’s my boss. He took me on as an apprentice when I left school.
I will finish my trade but, i don’t know, have any big plans. Yeah if I pursued naval architecture I could see myself working at Garden Island for the Navy or something like that, designing the boats for them. It’s a pretty interesting job I’m always doing something different every day. And out on the water, in the sun.
I’ve worked all over sydney. Just recently we had to deliver a boat that we’d been working on at this marina to the Gold Coast. So we took that up there for the owner, yeah. He flew us back, so that was pretty good. The best bits about the job are driving boats around for our customers.
Some of them are multimillion dollar boats. Worked on some pretty big ones. Four million dollars I think was the biggest one I’ve worked on. Most of this stuff I do is just people who have a lot of money, just working on their toys, that’s basically it. I know people that work at Garden Island that do work on the public transport on the ferries and The Spirit of Tasmania and the bigger boats like that.
Apprentice Profile Cody Webby
My name is cody, i’m 21 years old, i’m an apprentice builder, specialising in small to large renovations in the Auckland area. Currently I’m the site foreman on a $300,000 renovation in St Hellias. Which is quite high profile work and great experience for me at 21 to get straight into the work line and run a job. It’s good for me, for developing skills as I want to run a business when I’m older. Week typically consists of five working days, Monday to Friday 7.305 and get off on Friday a little bit earlier and have a.
Couple of beers with the boys. i’m pretty lucky, pretty fortunate to have a boat at my age, I’m 21 and I have a 20 foot boat, almost matches my age! I do a bit of fishing and skiing, sea biscuiting, we get to do all that sort of stuff which is pretty fun. I like to hang out with my mates on the weekends and spend a little bit of that hard earned money as well. Probably one of the best things me getting into the trade in the first place, giving me the opportunity to earn cash at the same time as working and learning. Five.