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Glued-Lapstrake Plywood Construction

Build two of John’s sailing dinghies—the Frances 14 and 8′8″ Compass Harbor Pram.

In the shop photo

Tuition: $850

Note: This is a six-day course ending on Saturday afternoon. Please keep in mind that woodworking experience is required for this busy and varied class.

This very popular course focuses on the construction method specified in many designer’s plans and kits for a wide range of delightful boats. During this busy week students will build hulls for two of John’s rowing and sailing designs, the Frances 14 and the 8′8″ Compass Harbor Pram. The Frances 14 is a round-bilged design that is the big sister to John’s Ellen sailing dinghy, but with a sloop rig. The Compass Harbor Pram has a narrow, flat bottom and curved, glued-lap topsides. Both hulls will offer many instructive challenges for the class.

In the shop

Glued lapstrake plywood construction is lovely and forgiving, resilient and strong, permanently watertight and lends itself to graceful lines for both flat bottom and round bilged boats. Students will start by learning how to prepare and scarf the marine-grade plywood planking stock, then you’ll assemble the backbone parts: transoms, inner stem, keelson, or bottom. John will explain how the building jigs are created and show students how to make and attach the distinctive planking. With two hulls, everyone will have plenty of opportunity to learn how to spile, make and attach planks, and how to bevel the laps.

The goal of this course is to give everyone the skills they will need to take a set of plans with full-sized patterns, or a lofting, and build a beautiful boat – especially the hardest first step, turning raw lumber and lines on flat paper into a solid hull. Both hulls, with plans, will be raffled off to students at the end of the course on Saturday.

If Harvard had a Department of Boatbuilding, John Brooks would be its chair. His skill at designing and building is matched by his ability to teach and inspire.”
P.E., Cambridge, Massachusetts


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