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Traditional Plywood Boat Construction

An introduction to boatbuilding basics.

Tuition: $900

Note: This is a six-day course ending Sturday afternoon.

Shellback dinghy

If you are contemplating building your first boat or would like to move beyond stitch-and-glue boatbuilding, here’s a helpful course designed with you in mind. Instructor Bill Thomas will cover the a, b, c’s of designing a boat and how to read and understand plans. He will also go over hand and power tools and discuss what you’ll need to set up your own building space and get started with your project. Students will learn about fastenings, plywood and solid wood, glues and epoxy, and work with fiberglass cloth. During the week, there will be time to discuss various designs and building techniques and which might be the most practical for the first-time builder.

All this will happen while students build a Joel White–designed Shellback dinghy. It’s a perfect boat for a one-week class and allows each student to learn a broad range of new skills. You’ll begin by setting up a strongback and molds and make patterns and laminated frames. While building the Shellback’s lapstrake hull. Students will use traditional methods of cutting and fitting the planks. If time allows, interior details like quarter knees, seats and outwales will be made and fitted. While offering something for most skill levels, this week is geared toward the budding boatbuilder. So, take the first step and find out what makes boatbuilding so interesting and enjoyable!

Bill Thomas is a sterling individual. Very knowledgeable, approachable, and patient. I look forward to future friendship and courses with Bill and WoodenBoat School.”
P.C., Columbus, Ohio
The wonderful aspect of the WoodenBoat School community is the friendliness and caring of entire staff. They were always there to assist in any way possible.”
N.W., Glen Head, New York
Bill Thomas is not only knowledgeable but an excellent teacher as well. I gained much needed experience on interior fit out in your FINISHING OUT SMALL BOATS course and learned a ton!”
B.R., Stonington, Connecticut