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The WoodenBoat School

Finishing Out Small Boats

Creating neat woodwork and joinerwork.

Tuition: $850

Note: This is a six-day course ending Saturday afternoon. Previous woodworking experience is a requirement for this course


Here’s a week that promises to be a fulfilling and challenging one, with plenty of opportunity to learn--with brains and hands—how to build the intricate parts and finish out small open boats. The joinerwork of a small boat is particularly exacting because there is nowhere to hide slipshod work—no burying rough joints under decks or in cabinetry. Bill will teach you how to make elegant parts and gorgeous, tight-fitting joints for a boat you’ll be proud to varnish.

The course is designed to be a follow-up to some of our plywood/epoxy hull building classes and very useful to anyone completing a small boat. Many of the skills and techniques you acquire can be transferred to big boats as well. Your instructor will start the week describing how to organize a project as complicated as finishing a boat. Students will learn how to work from boat plans and drawings. Bill will explain the versatility of various types of patterns and show you how to make them, as well as how to use them.

You’ll learn about making curved parts including laminated outer stem and intricate interior fittings. Bill will demonstrate methods for measuring and layout in the hull to accurately position interior parts and pieces. He’ll also explain how to accurately scribe and fit parts such as the breasthook, quarter knees, and bulkheads. And you’ll learn how to use epoxy and other glues and bedding compound; and to become familiar with woodworking in three dimensions with no right angles in sight.

Working both at the bench and in the boat, you’ll refine your skills with a wide array of boatbuilding tools, from planes, spokeshaves, scrapers, and chisels to the tablesaw and bandsaw.

Throughout the week, Bill will be showing you many tricks, tips, and jigs that make each job easier and faster, as well as look better and help you make a boat beautiful and truly yours.

Bill Thomas is a top-notch instructor; very kind, thoughtful and made the course most enjoyable.”
A.C., Northampton, 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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