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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID 19)
Update – May 1, 2020

Greetings again, WoodenBoat School Friends and Alumni,

As we’ve all seen, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to leave its wake of grim damage everywhere, and it’s still far from over. Here in Maine, our Governor has just officially extended her Stay at Home Order for the State through to the end of May. She has also established an initial process for (very) slowly easing certain restrictions though August. These restrictions include facilities like the WoodenBoat School – which is part hotel, part campground, part summer camp (for adults!), part RV park, and part shop “classroom.” As such, we are required to work with the State “to implement practical, reasonable, evidence-informed safety protocols and modifications that protect the health and safety of employees and customers …” including “reducing occupancy to ensure employee and customer safety.” Unfortunately for us and for many similar kinds of businesses throughout Maine, the requirement that visitors entering from outside the State must quarantine for 14 days remains in effect. This combination of reduced occupancy and quarantine requirements hits us directly.

We’ve always been able to count on the generous and passionate commitment of our dedicated staff, our alumni, and our extraordinary faculty — to say nothing of the hundreds of our ‘students’ who come here from around the country and the world. At the WoodenBoat School we work, learn, reside, dine, and interact in common spaces in very close proximity, and opening the School this season would put the best interests of our community of students, faculty, and staff, and that of our home town of Brooklin, at risk. We would be irresponsible to fail to do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of everyone, and bringing so many of you together before the crisis is truly under control would be dangerous. Sadly, this situation forces us to the painful conclusion that we have no choice but to postpone all of our on-site programs until next season.

We know that many of you have held onto the hope that we would be able to have at least part of a season here, and it’s agonizing that, for the first time since we began the School in 1981, on the eve of its 40th year, we have to postpone the entire on-site program. This is as personal for us as it is for you, and believe us when we say that it is an agonizing decision to have to come to. But there are two things we must do as soon as possible.

The first is to commit to immediately securing your place in the class of your choice – ideally the one you had signed up for – in the 2021 season. Your choices and reservations are our highest priorities now, and we’ll be working hard to reschedule these classes as swiftly as possible. This is the one opportunity we have to save your place well in advance, to prioritize your reservation above all others, and to protect your deposit and the current tuition rate, regardless of any increases in tuition likely coming in 2021. If we can do this with your reservation and your deposit for this season, effectively rolling it forward, you will not only be securing your place, but helping us to withstand the losses the pandemic is causing us to sustain this year, and we will be deeply, deeply grateful to you.

The second thing we must do is to see if there are any possible “remote” options we might offer to those interested. Obviously, there are certain classes that could lend themselves to this kind of structure as a substitute of sorts, though nothing compares, as all alumni know, to being right here on the WoodenBoat Campus! We’ve already begun exploring potential online formats with some of our faculty members and hope to share some of these ideas with you soon.

As always, we will work to keep you informed on this situation by email, and we will continue to post updates on the WoodenBoat School website. We thank you for your patience, your caring, and for always standing with us. We guarantee that we’ll be working hard to continue to make the WoodenBoat School experience even more exciting, and we hope you will continue to be a part of the future with us. When the time comes for us to reopen our doors in 2021, our entire staff will be here and ready to welcome you back!

If you check out our cancellation policy, you’ll see that, as described above, we’ve implemented the option to guarantee your place in your course choice for the 2021 season at a protected current rate.

Looking ahead to the Fall, keep in mind that our four boatbuilding courses being held at Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis, Maryland in September and October are still scheduled to take place. Further information and registration details can be found HERE.

Thank you again for your continued support and your patience.
Rich Hilsinger
Director


2020 Course Schedules

50% Discount on Tuition for All Full-Time High School & College Students.

New courses added this year:


Gift certificats are available
Your facilities, staff, and program are excellent and I am extremely pleased I made the effort to get here. A wonderful experience!”
D.C., Blackburn, Australia
Being able to take a class at the WoodenBoat School campus was a dream – the perfect classroom. This was a great experience to share with my mom and I will always remember it.”
K.K., Park City, Utah
WoodenBoat School provides a superb opportunity to learn and meet others with similar interests in a beautiful setting – all at a very reasonable price.”
J.W., Deep River, Ontario, Canada
Thank you for this very special place and all the opportunities for learning.”
L.B., Waterbury Center, Vermont
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