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Runabout Repair and Restoration

Making them beautiful again—keelson to varnish.

August 4 – August 10
Brooklin, Maine
Gary Lowell
Experience Level
Activity Level

This is a six-day course ending Saturday 

The design and manufacture of wooden runabouts early in the last century was one of the high points in the history of American boatbuilding. These boats are still lovely and exciting, and very much appreciated today. Fortunately, many of them still exist, though quite often they sit forlorn in boatyards or barns, awaiting the loving hand of a restorer. So WoodenBoat School is happy to present this course for aspiring runabout rebuilders. Gary Lowell knows restoration as a busy professional in his North Carolina boat shop.

In this course students will examine obvious deficiencies and more subtle problems. Gary will explain each detail of the restoration process and develop a work schedule. Students will learn about materials and sources of supplies, and woodworking and finishing techniques, both traditional and innovative. There will also be opportunities to try your hand at various phases of repair and replacement of hull parts and joinery work, renovation of electrical and mechanical systems, and preparation for and application of paint and varnish.

Gary has designed this course to help the restorer become self-sufficient and resourceful, able to complete an existing project or to find and fix a needy craft, and ultimately to enjoy the satisfaction and value of bringing one of these beauties back to life.

  • Who is this course best suited for?

    This course is appropriate for someone with little or no experience.  The course is designed around the idea that you have not done this before or know very little about the subject.  Students should pay more attention to suggested readings or videos to help familiarize themselves ahead of time.

    This course involves a moderate level of activity throughout the week including: standing and working sometimes throughout the day, some hand planing or sanding, working on group projects that require occasional participation.

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