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The WoodenBoat School

Scratch Modelmaking

Ship model building for beginners to advanced as taught by a master.

Tuition: $800

Material Cost: $125

Note: This is a five-day course ending Friday evening.

Model making in the shopWe have built models of ships throughout history for many reasons, but the simplest is that it brings great pleasure. It doesn’t matter if your interests lie in a Beetle Cat or the BONHOMME RICHARD, you can learn how these boats were constructed and build a model yourself. Whether your interest is ethnological, historical, technical, or just curiosity, modelmaking will prove to be fascinating and an excellent learning exercise.

Steve’s course has been designed to appeal to the advanced builder, as well as the beginner. First-time modelmakers will be able to work on a purposefully chosen traditional small craft that not only teaches model building, but the techniques of full-sized traditional wooden boat construction. You will touch on all the basics of scratch modelmaking, along with advanced procedures and finishing techniques. Advanced students will be able to work on a model of their choice or choose from a large selection of master molds for traditional round-bottomed sailing and working craft. Each master mold builds a specific boat in a specific scale, using plank-on-frame construction. The necessary plans for each boat will be provided by the instructor. All of these boats are traditional, historic, interesting, and challenging. Since there is only one building master for each boat, they will be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis after the student registers for the course and contacts Steve. A complete list of the molds is available from the instructor by e-mailing him at

Scratch model making

Some of the available building master molds include:

  • RAINBOW, a Stonington dragger in ¾″ scale
  • Barnegat Bay sneakbox in 1″ scale
  • Stone Horse in ¾″ scale
  • Delaware Ducker in 1″ scale
  • GEORGE W. BEALE, a menhaden steamer in 3/8″ or 1/4″ scale
  • ADA C. LORE, Delaware Bay oyster schooner in ¼″scale
  • Cape Cod catboat in ½″ scale
  • Herreshoff 12½ in 1″ scale
  • Wianno Senior in ½″ scale
  • EDNA LOCKWOOD, a bugeye in 3/8″ scale
  • VICTORY CHIMES (Edwin & Maude), a three-masted ram schooner in ¼″ scale

At the end of the week, you will have an excellent foundation to build on and quite a bit of valuable information to take home. You will have some of the skill and knowledge necessary, but more important, all of the enthusiasm you can imagine to pursue the hobby of a lifetime!


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