Annual Apprentice Shipwrights' Lecture

15 Oct 2014

Gerry explains PredictWind

Gerry explaining PredictWind to the apprentice shipwrights


Gerry was invited to give the closing address at this year’s Annual Apprentice Shipwright’s Lecture. Over 200 apprentices, shipwrights and students, together with their employers, lecturers and guests attended the 4th Annual Shipwrights Lectures held in Southampton on Wednesday 15th October 2014.

This event is organized by the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights and hosted by the University of Southampton.  This thought-provoking event included a variety of hugely inspirational speakers from within the marine sector sharing their thoughts and experiences with the eager audience of apprentices.

The friendly and welcoming atmosphere encouraged the apprentices to take the time to learn from the experiences of the all the speakers who volunteered their time to help with this event. 

When asked how he felt about being invited to give the closing speech at this important event, Gerry explained:

“It was a huge privilege to be asked.  I really did not expect that I would ever be asked to talk at an event like this.  But, when I met Michael Derrick  (one of the organisers) in Glasgow and he explained the purpose of the event, I was really delighted to accept the invitation.  It has been a fantastic day.  I have learned so much this afternoon and it is great to see people who are so skilled in their jobs sharing their experiences with the apprentice shipwrights.  It has been a honour to give the closing presentation.’

The feedback from the afternoon has been amazing:

 “These Annual Shipwrights Lectures are a hugely inspirational opportunity for our young apprentices to take time out of their work to hear about other aspects of the industry and to meet and see other young apprentices. The organisers should be congratulated on the excellent choice of speakers at this year’s event and the welcoming and informal atmosphere with which the lectures are run. Our apprentices really look forward to this event each year and treat it as an inspirational and informative part of their learning process.” (Mike Carr, Joint Managing Director of Pendennis Shipyard)

I thought this year’s lectures was one of best and if I had to single someone out apart from Alice * it would be Dr Gerard Hughes,  “ awe inspiring”, so a lot to live up to for next year! (Norman Blick,
Production Manager Oyster Yachts)

*Joiner and former apprentice Alice Le Good, gave a lively and passionate presentation on her apprenticeship and career path at Oyster Yachts. 

 More information on the Apprentice Shipwrights’ Lecture is available at

Professor Ajit R Shenoi

Professor Ajit R Shenoi, CEng, FRINA, FIMechE, Director, Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute and Shipwright, welcomes the apprentices to the University of Southampton


 Matt Sheahan

Matt Sheahan, Technical Editor, Yachting World chairs the panel discussion on Marine Electronics – “Past, Present and the Future"


The Panel

The panel (left to right):  Dr Alex Reid from Cosworth,  Dr William Collier from G L Watson, Nigel Craine from Garmin and Rachel Oliver from Osprey Technical Consulting.


Gerry explains how he dreamt of sailing around the world

Gerry explains his story to the apprentices and how he decided one day he would sail around the world like Sir Francis Chichester.