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Build Your Own Plank-Constructed Pond Yacht

A Vintage Marblehead-class pond yacht designed for radio control.

Tuition: $900

Material Cost:

  • Pond Yacht I — $385, includes CNC cut molds, strongback, keelson, planking, fin, and rudder.
  • Pond Yacht II — $169, includes material to finish the boat other than sails, fittings, and electronics. (Not available for pre-purchase to Pond Yacht I students)

Note: This is a six-day course ending Saturday afternoon.

Pond yacht construction in the shop

In this course each student will begin the construction of his/her own pond yacht. This type of small boat originated in 1932 using minimal design requirements of 50″ LOA and 800 square inches of sail. The class of boat known as Vintage Marblehead (VM) is still actively sailed today under the guidance of the U.S. Vintage Model Yacht Group. When fully rigged the boat is over 7′ tall, which makes it quite impressive from shore. The boat can be easily dismantled for transport.

Pond yacht

The course boat NORUMBEGA was designed by former instructor Thom McLaughlin. Construction of this pond yacht will pleasantly challenge and inform students in planking practices similar to those used in building full-sized boats. Students will make decisions based on blueprints and developing an eye for form. During this week, the boat will be planked, faired, and the fin and rudder will be fabricated. Bruce will also discuss the steps that follow to complete the boat—decking, rigging, electronic installation, and painting.

Students who have started construction of their VM model in previous years at WoodenBoat School are also welcome to participate in this course to finish their boat. This week will be an excellent opportunity for further guidance. This will provide inspiration to those individuals just beginning their boat and to view firsthand the final steps in construction.

Bruce Richter taught a great course. I liked that he checked our work each evening and made note of our mistakes to correct the next day. He pulled together regular meetings to discuss theory. I especially enjoyed the pond yacht history lesson! Great teaching skills. Great personality and a sense of humor.”
J.J., Phoenix, Maryland