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How to Choose the Best Boatbuilding Course for You

Building in the shop In the shop

The key to deciding which class best suits your needs is to carefully read each course description, which incorporates much information about the course’s content and level of experience. We’ll also be glad to help you with any questions you may have after reading this catalog, and if need be we can put you in contact with our instructors. Choosing the right course means that you will be satisfied, appropriately challenged, and among others whose goals and abilities are similar to yours. Keep in mind that having some previous hand tool/woodworking experience will result in a much richer experience for everyone interested in one of our boatbuilding courses. For those lacking this experience, we highly recommend taking our Introduction To Woodworking course or a basic carpentry class in your hometown before signing up for one of our boatbuilding classes.

For those of you looking for a great introduction to traditional wooden boat construction, we recommend: Fundamentals Of Boatbuilding, Introduction To Boatbuilding, and Building The Amesbury Dory Skiff.

boatbuiliding in the shop

If you are interested in a certain type of construction, there is plenty to choose from. You’ll find various courses in the following construction methods: plank-on-frame, plywood-epoxy, strip-plank, stitch-and-glue, and much, much more. You’ll also find a wide variety of courses in which a class or individuals will build canoes or kayaks.

A fair number of students are interested in taking a series of courses, with a goal of becoming more proficient or even working toward a career in boatbuilding. We suggest considering the following sequence: Lofting; Fundamentals Of Boatbuilding; Building Half Models; Elements Of Boat Design; then one or more courses that focus on a particular design or type of construction.

Many of our shop courses are designed for beginning, intermediate, or experienced woodworkers; a wise choice based on skill level can determine how much you may benefit from the course. Again, take time to read each course description carefully.

The physical facilities of WoodenBoat School are outstanding, the working environment in the shop is incredible, and the welcoming nature of every staff member made us feel at home throughout our week on campus.”
J.K., Kansas City, Missouri
This place is my personal Mecca!”
R.H., Folly Beach, South Carolina