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.

If you are 50+ or 16-25 and live in Bristol, you can apply.

All-Aboard Watersports, Cumberland Road, Bristol, BS1 6XG

A course includes 8 sessions that run every Thursday for 8 weeks, 10.30AM – 15.30PM.

Experience/ Eligibility Requirements:
No experience is required! But you must be living in the city of Bristol.

50+? You will take part in an 8 week programme, the first 2 weeks of which are skills builder sessions where you will start building your boat. In the 3rd week, you will be joined by our 16-25 year olds.

16 – 25? Your programme will last 6 weeks, joining our older generation in their third week, you will build your boats together.

In the last week of the programme you will launch your boat into the harbour and sail it on its maiden voyage!

Cost: FREE

Transport: We are able to support with transport, get in touch to find out more.




What will I be doing?
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 to do any other activities?

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.

Together, your group will choose a maritime activity (ranging from sailing to gig rowing, from raft building to talks from marine engineers) to participate in that day.








What will I need to bring?

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 – 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 try out the local cafes and shops.

There will be some refreshments provided (tea, coffee, biscuits, maybe the odd bit of cake) but not enough to make a lunch.



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.