Introduction to Boatbuilding
A one-week primer on building small boats.
Note: These are six-day courses ending Saturday afternoon.
There are many individuals out there who have decided that they would like to build their very own boat but don’t know how to get started. Many first-time builders have run into problems understanding the process of what to do first and, as a result, soon get intimidated and the idea loses momentum. Bill Thomas and John Karbott, noted boatbuilders and teachers, invite anyone interested in wooden boats and woodworking to join them in either of these two six-day courses focusing on the skills and techniques used in basic boatbuilding. No prior boatbuilding experience is required; simply a desire to learn. If you want to build a good-looking, simple sailing skiff, Bill or John can help you get started and guide you through the step-by-step procedures to taking on and completing such a project on your own.
Bill has chosen one of Iain Oughtred’s lovely designs, the Skerrieskiff 17, as the boat students will construct during his course. This beach cruiser offers a great compromise between rowing and sailing qualities. We will be building a rowing version during the course. Using traditional boatbuilding methods, she is built of marine plywood over a strongback and moulds. John Karbott’s students will build two of his handsome 12 ½′ semi-dory skiffs combining marine plywood, white oak, and Northern white cedar. Both classes will start with understanding boat plans and lofting and proceed through scarfing, framing, planking, and interior joinerwork. As with any one-week building schedule, there will be plenty for students to do as we finish the boats.
As both skiffs take shape through each week, Bill and John will lead discussions in small-craft design, selecting a suitable design for the amateur builder, setting up a one-man shop, proper hand and power tool usage, and much more. Whether you have a hankering for traditional skiff construction like the Skerrieskiff 17 or the 12 ½′ Semi-dory skiff or are simply looking for a perfect introduction to wooden boat construction, you will thoroughly enjoy either of these weeks.