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The WoodenBoat School

Small-Boat Repair Methods

Figuring out what’s wrong and how to fix it right.

Tuition: $1250 (two-week course)

Note: Previous woodworking/boatbuilding experience will be beneficial in this course

Repair solutions are unique for every project; they depend on the boat’s general condition, type of construction, and the time and materials available. From the very first day, this hands-on course will keep you busy with a wide assortment of repair problems. You’ll begin with a careful survey and analysis of the boat’s structure, leading to a practical repair plan--the crucial first step to a successful project. You’ll learn how to evaluate and then save or restore the boat’s shape.

Boat repair

Your instructors, professional boatbuilders John Karbott and Bob Fuller, will share numerous tricks used to carefully remove structural parts to be replaced; how to use patterns to transfer the shape to new wood; and spiling and measuring techniques. Plank refastening and replacement, broken frame repair, rot in the keel, stopping deck leaks, repairing transoms, and lots more will be discussed. You’ll practice various techniques necessary to these repairs, such as cutting scarf joints and fitting dutchmen, steam-bending frames, and laminating. And you’ll learn about the initial causes of the problems you might encounter, how they might be prevented, and alternate routes to their solution.

The “patient” boats for this course vary from year to year. Between students’ boats and a couple more from our collection, everyone gets to work on a wide variety of repairs. There is room for a few students to bring their own boats; please contact us first to discuss the logistics.

Whether you own a wooden boat, are thinking of buying one, work in a yard, or just enjoy solving problems with wood, this outstanding course with an accomplished boatbuilder may be just for you.

John Karbott was fabulous. He was very patient with each student and helped us learn if we made a mistake. He’s a first-class teacher who gave us clear direction, encouraged us to go forward, and answered all our questions.”
S.H., Kansas City, Missouri


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

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