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Introduction to Boatbuilding

A one-week primer on building small boats.

  • John Karbott—June 2–8, June 30–July 6, August 18–24

Tuition: $875

Note: No prior boatbuilding experience is required. These are six-day courses ending Saturday afternoon.

Semi-dory Skiff

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 any of these three six-day courses 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.

Boatbuilding in the shop

Students will build two of John’s handsome 12 ½’ semi-dory 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 like the 12 ½’ semi-dory skiff or are simply looking for a perfect introduction to wooden boat construction, you will thoroughly enjoy this week with John.

I cannot think of an instructor better suited to teaching INTRODUCTION TO BOATBUILDING than John Karbott. His experience building and repairing boats, along with his former occupation as a fisherman, gives him a greater breath of knowledge which he brought to this course. After this week with John, I now have the sense I could build a boat myself.”
R.W., Beverly, Massachusetts
John Karbott was great. He practices what he preaches. I learned so much in just one week and gained the confidence needed to start my first boat at home. Thank you!”
J.D., M.O., Wakefield, Massachusetts
Bill Thomas was outstanding. His people/teaching skills are as good as his woodworking/boatbuilding skills. The INTRODUCTION TO BOATBUILDING course was both informative and very enjoyable.”
T.M., Middlesex, Vermont