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The WoodenBoat School

Building the Maine Coast Peapod

An in-depth look at traditional wooden boat construction, tools, materials, and the right way to so the job.

Tuition: $1250

Note: This is a two-week course. Previous woodworking experience will be very helpful to those interested in this course.

A peapod

Peapods have been a natural fit for Maine’s harbors for over a century. Long used as working boats in the lobster fishery and all kinds of waterfront work, these craft are seaworthy, stable, and comfortable. Models vary from small tenders to larger versions meant as a primary vessel. The class project during these two weeks will be the Maine Coast Peapod, a 14′ traditionally planked double-ender designed by Joel White. This is a boat that is a joy to row, sail, or tow!

A peapod

The class will begin with Sam and his students reviewing Joel’s plans, followed by assembling and fairing the building jig. Once the jig is completed, you’ll build a white oak backbone with matching stems and cut rabbets. Oak frames will be milled and then steam-bent onto the vessel. She’ll be planked with northern white cedar and copper rivets. Joel designed the sheer plank to be lapstrake, and Sam will explain this procedure for students to tackle.

After the rivets are headed over, you’ll install breasthooks, rubrails, inwales, and thwarts. Eventually, the peapod will be completed for sailing by students building a dagger board, tiller, and rudder. If there’s enough time, the lug rig and a pair of oars can be fashioned out of spruce.

These two weeks with experienced boatbuilder Sam Temple will give a good foundation in lining out, spiling, and traditional carvel planking. It will certainly be a confidence builder for anyone looking to do accurate work using traditional methods. The emphasis will be on hand tools, trusting one’s eye, and looking for fair lines.


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