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The WoodenBoat School

Introduction to Boatbuilding

A one-week primer on building small boats.

Tuition: $850

Note: These are six-day courses ending Saturday afternoon.

Semi-dory Skiff

There are many individuals out there who have decided that they would like to build their very 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. Bill Thomas and John Karbott, noted boatbuilders and teachers, invite anyone interested in wooden boats and woodworking to join them in either 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, Bill or 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

Bill has chosen a Karl Stambaugh design, the Bay Skiff 12, as the boat students will construct during his course. This multipurpose skiff offers a great compromise between rowing and sailing qualities. We will be building a rowing version during the course. Using traditional boatbuilding methods, she is built of marine plywood over a strongback and molds. John Karbott’s students will build two of his handsome 12 ½′ semi-dory skiffs combining marine plywood, white oak, and northern white cedar. Both classes will start with understanding boat plans and lofting, and proceed through scarfing, framing, planking, and interior joinerwork. As with any one-week building schedule, there will be plenty for students to do as we finish the boats.

As both skiffs take shape through each week, Bill and 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 Bay Skiff 12 or the 12 ½′ Semi-dory skiff or are simply looking for a perfect introduction to wooden boat construction, you will thoroughly enjoy any of these weeks.


WoodenBoat School, 41 WoodenBoat Lane, PO Box 78, Brooklin, Maine 04616 USA
Tel: 207-359-4651, Fax: 207-359-8920

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