Wellingborough pupils’ designs help African fishermen

The hull construction of a Ghanaian Fishing Boat
The hull construction of a Ghanaian Fishing Boat
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Pupils at a Wellingborough school have put their thinking caps on to help fishermen in Africa.

A project by pupils at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy began as a simple design exercise to produce a 3D boat hull made out of card, but took on a life of its own and has now seen a real-life boat with simplified gear box delivered to Ghana.

The original team at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy

The original team at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy

A school spokesman said: “We designed a marine drive system and made a working radio controlled model which featured in the magazine Marine Modelling International.

“The article funded building of a full-sized boat, which was then featured in Practical Boat Owner (PBO), in the December 2016 issue.

“We named the boat ‘Motivator’ and the pupils then found out about the poor fishing village of Okansey Kope in Ghana.

“They voted to send the boat to them, hoping they could copy our drive system on a larger scale to replace their expensive and worn outboard motors.

Students at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy demonstrating their boat to Dr Obeng from GIMPA in Accra, Ghana

Students at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy demonstrating their boat to Dr Obeng from GIMPA in Accra, Ghana

“The article in PBO funded the shipping costs to Ghana.

“David Pugh, the Editor of PBO also approached Garmin, who make GPS and Fish Finding Sonar systems and they donated some of their equipment for the fishing community to try out.

“Up until now the fishermen have only used small mesh nets and literally hunted for shoals of small fish on the surface.

“After initial training the fishermen are now setting out to increase the variety of fish they catch and thus improve their standard of living.”

Motivator is delivered to Ocansey Kope at the mouth of the River Volta in Ghana

Motivator is delivered to Ocansey Kope at the mouth of the River Volta in Ghana

A fishing boat leaving the River Volta for the Atlantic Ocean

A fishing boat leaving the River Volta for the Atlantic Ocean