Rocking the Boat

  • Location:
    All-Aboard Watersports, Cumberland Road, Bristol, BS1 6XG
  • When:
    A course includes 8 sessions that run every Thursday for 8 weeks, 10.00AM – 15.30PM
  • Experience/ Eligibility Requirements
    No experience is required! But you must be over 50 and living in the city of Bristol.
  • Schedule
    Learning basic skills (Week 1 & 2), Building boats with younger generation (Week 3 - 7), Boat Launch (Week 8)
  • Cost:
  • Transport:
    Bristol Community Transport are offering free transport both to and from the sessions.
  • How to Book:
    Call 0333 320 88 38 or email [email protected]
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“Bringing generations together to build boats, gain knowledge and generate friendships. Eight weeks, two boats, one great experience and completely FREE for over 50’s.”

What is Rocking the Boat?

Rocking the Boat is an intergenerational boat building project which brings together small groups, a minimum of 6 and maximum of 8 people, spanning all ages to work closely with our friendly, highly skilled experts to build two brand new boats from scratch. After eight consecutive weeks of working one day a week the project culminates with  your vessel’s maiden voyage on the historic Bristol Harbour.

Do I need experience in boat building and how much does it cost?

Not only is this a fantastic opportunity where no experience is required but it’s also completely FREE of charge. We’ll even arrange to pick you up and bring you to the sessions before dropping you back later, also FREE of charge!

What could I be doing during the 8 weeks?

This project will provide a variety of roles for everyone! From sawing to sanding to documenting (and drinking tea…) this project offers the chance to get involved in the many different elements of boatbuilding.

  • If you want to get stuck in with a hands-on role but have never done anything like this before, it’s no problem at all.
  • If you love the idea of the project but don’t fancy the practical side of things, that’s great. We need people for the essential but non-practical elements of the project, such as documenting the build for our digital scrapbook.

No matter what you want to do, you’re welcome!

Will I get the chance to try other activities as well as boat building during the project?

Absolutely! It’s not all work and no play. The weekly sessions are split into two, with half the day spent working on the boat, and the other half doing whatever maritime activity takes your fancy. Your group as a whole will choose a maritime activity (ranging from sailing or gig rowing, to kayaking to visits to M-Shed or going aboard the Balmoral) to participate in that day.

Where are the boats being built?

Each weekly session will be taking place at All-Aboard Watersports Centre’s boat shed.

When do the sessions take place?

Every Thursday 10am – 3.30pm for 8 weeks.  The next course starts Thursday 23rd August 2018.

How do I book onto the course?

To find out more information or to register your interest please e-mail [email protected] or call 0333 320 88 38.

How do I book FREE transport?

Just let us know when your booking onto the course that you’d like transport and we’ll do the rest!

Rocking the Boat Partners



All-Aboard Watersports exists to ‘break down barriers; making watersports accessible for all’. They are a fully inclusive charity, using watersports as a medium to improve life experience, health, physical and social opportunities for all in the beautiful and historic Bristol City Docks. Click here to find out more. 


Bristol Community Transport is supporting Rocking the Boat by providing free lifts to and from sessions, which can be organised when booking to take part. Bristol Community Transport is Bristol’s largest community transport operator and a part of leading transport social enterprise HCT Group. Click here to find out more. 


BS3 Community Development is a well-established community hub in South Bristol. Working to improve the wellbeing of older people, and to reduce social isolation and loneliness, BS3 Community Development reinvests into educational, arts, environmental and social projects. Click here to find out more


MyFutureMyChoice provides unique and innovative education services to families and schools working with the charity The Bristol Initiative Charitable Trust, addressing the need for all young people to meet a wide range of role models doing different jobs in business, industry or community. Click here to find out more.


What to bring with you

Boat Building – please bring clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty. We have overalls that you will be able to wear, we also have safety glasses, gloves and any other Personal Protective Equipment that you’ll need.

Water Activities – please bring a towel and some clothes you don’t mind getting damp (separate to your workshop clothes). We have wetsuits which you’ll be able to borrow.

Lunch – You can either bring a packed lunch or buy lunch as there are two local pubs which offer food as well as a local shop. There will be some refreshments provided (tea, coffee, biscuits, maybe the odd bit of cake) but not enough to make a lunch.