My name is Jeff Mackie and I am from the Orkney Islands. I’m a construction joiner to trade. I worked as a joiner from when I left school in 2004. In 2011 I made the decision to try something different so I packed up and moved to the south of France to work on luxury yachts. After three years I then decided to move back home and return to my trade. Two years later the opportunity for a boatbuilding fellowship appeared in the local newspaper. I couldn’t resist. With my backgrounds in woodwork and the marine industry I felt it was the perfect fit. So I applied and was accepted!
The fellowship has been setup with the Orkney Historic Boat Society, Historic Enviroment Scotland and Ian Richardson Boatbuiders. This consists of one year in Lowestoft at the International Boatbuilding Traning College in Lowestoft and then another year training with Ian Richardson. The purpose is to ensure that the traditional craft of boatbuilding is kept alive in Orkney. Being an island, the marine industry plays a huge part in island life. From work, travel and leisure the sea has been a big part in a lot of people’s lives and in the history and development of the islands.