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Boatbuilding New

Small Boat Repair

Figuring out what’s wrong and how to fix it right.

August 20 – August 26
Brooklin, Maine
John Karbott
Experience Level
Activity Level

This is a six-day course ending Saturday

Repair solutions are unique for every project; they depend on the boat’s general condition, type of construction, and the time and materials available. From the very first day, this hands-on course will keep you busy with a wide assortment of repair problems. You’ll begin with a careful survey and analysis of the boat’s structure, leading to a practical repair plan–the crucial first step to a successful project. You’ll learn how to evaluate and then save or restore the boat’s shape.

Your instructor, professional boatbuilder John Karbott, will share numerous tricks used to carefully remove structural parts to be replaced; how to use patterns to transfer the shape to new wood; and spiling and measuring techniques. Plank refastening and replacement, broken frame repair, rot in the keel, stopping deck leaks, repairing transoms, and lots more will be discussed. You’ll practice various techniques necessary to these repairs, such as cutting scarf joints and fitting dutchmen, steam-bending frames, and laminating. And you’ll learn about the initial causes of the problems you might encounter, how they might be prevented, and alternate routes to their solution.

The “patient” boats for this course vary from year to year. Between students’ boats and a couple more from our collection, everyone gets to work on a wide variety of repairs. Whether you own a wooden boat, are thinking of buying one, work in a yard, or just enjoy solving problems with wood, this outstanding course with an accomplished boatbuilder may be just for you.

* There is room for one or two students to bring their own boats; please contact us first to discuss the logistics.

  • Who is this course best suited for?

    This course is appropriate for students with some knowledge and experience.  Basic knowledge and use of hand tools is required for most shop courses.

    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.

Access to experience

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