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Introduction to Boatbuilding: Skiffs & Dories

A one-week primer on building small boats.

June 2 – June 8
Brooklin, Maine
John Karbott
Experience Level
Activity Level

This is a six-day course ending on Saturday

Other SessionsJuly 7-13, August 18-24 & September 22-28

There are many individuals who would like to build their 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. John Karbott, professional boatbuilder and instructor, invites anyone interested in wooden boats and woodworking to join this six-day course 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, 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.

Students will build two skiffs combining marine plywood, white oak, and northern white cedar. The course will start with understanding boat plans and lofting, and proceed through scarfing, framing, planking, and interior joinerwork.

As the skiffs take shape through each week, 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 or are simply looking for a perfect introduction to wooden boat construction, you will thoroughly enjoy this week with John.

  • Who is this course best suited for?

    This course is appropriate for someone with little or no experience.  The course is designed around the idea that you have not done this before or know very little about the subject.  Students should pay more attention to suggested readings or videos to help familiarize themselves ahead of time.

    This course involves a moderate level of activity throughout the week including: standing and working sometimes throughout the day, some hand planing or sanding, working on group projects that require occasional participation.

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