Select a name, read their biography.
The sailing bug caught Jane Ahlfeld while vacationing on one of the Maine windjammer schooners. She decided to take a leave from elementary school teaching…and has yet to return. She shipped out on the MARY HARRIGAN, a 50′ schooner, as mate to teach Cruising Boat Seamanship for WoodenBoat School in the Caribbean and Maine.In ’93 and ’94 she taught a course in Small Boat Sailing on the local boats of Bequia. Since 1989 she has returned to Brooklin each summer to teach and work on our waterfront. When not on boats, Jane is a computer consultant. She has a masters in Education and holds a U.S. Coast Guard License. Students often comment on Jane’s patience, knowledge, sense of humor, and attention to both the group and individual needs. She teaches the skills and gives all the support needed to gain confidence on the water.
Walt Ansel is a long-time native of Mystic, Connecticut. He grew up running wild at Mystic Seaport Museum Shipyard and is still there after 35 years. Walt began sweeping out the Shipyard shop when he was 14; while he still does pick up a broom, he has graduated on to doing other jobs as well. One of his very favorite projects was building a Beetle whaleboat with his retired boatbuilder father, Willits Ansel, in 2002. Walt supervised the restoration of the Eatern rigged dragger ROANN and was able to go to sea on her for the Museum. Walt also worked on the whale ship CHARLES W. MORGAN on both her 1980’s and 2013 restorations and got the opportunity to sail with the whales on Stellwagan Bank on the MORGAN’s 38th voyage. Walt is married to Carol, a school librarian who is passionate about photographing birds and the seacoast. Together they enjoy birding, cruising in boats, and English country dancing as done in the time of Jane Austen. They are proud parents of Douglas, a filmmaker, and Evelyn, an author and ship caulker. Walt has built and restored boats at WoodenBoat School for 16 years.
After graduating from the Marine Science Department at Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute in 1972, Jon Bardo was employed on the schooner yacht AMERICA as an engineer. Having survived 14 months of bluewater cruising, Jon came ashore and spent the next seven years repairing diesel engines in everything from commercial fishing vessels to logging equipment. Eventually drawn back to the sea, Jon worked on commercial tugboats for four years and then started his own business working on diesel engines, which he enjoys to this day.
Warren Barker built his first boat, a Culler skiff, in 1976 after earning his B.A. at Williams College. He then studied at Hoosuck Design and Woodworking School before joining Murray Peterson Associates in Maine, where he helped to build a number of prams and spars, as well as the 42′ ketch NIA. For the next four years he worked as a project foreman at Eric Goetz Custom Sailboat Company, mostly building high-tech, one-off, cold-molded racing boats. Along the way, Warren has built or rebuilt a variety of small craft on his own. A two-and-a-half-year stint restoring the yawl COTTON BLOSSOM ended with his first commission in his new shop, a Haven 12½′. A Bridges Point 24 kept the doors open, followed by CURLEW, a reproduction of the Herreshoff Alerion. Immersed in the Herreshoff technique, he used their methods to produce a 26′ gig for Portsmouth Abbey School and a Columbia dinghy. Having completed the 30′6″ William Garden–designed “Camilla” and the Herreshoff 12½′ “Crow Dancer” in his Westport, Massachusetts, shop, he took the position of senior instructor at IYRS mentoring the construction of Herreshoff designs from 12′ to 35′ and a smattering of other designers’ work. Trying to stay ahead of the students, he is learning the ins and outs of GarWood and Chris-Craft boats.
Born and raised in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Greg Bauer came to boatbuilding as a third career later in life. Before the boatbuilding bug bit hard, he worked for six years as a design draftsman for a metal fabrication shop and for ten years as an accounting manager of an auto parts manufacturer. A couple of sailing experiences on the Maine windjammer ROSEWAY led Greg to the world of wooden boats, and he soon enrolled at The Landing School in Kennebunkport, Maine. After graduating from their boatbuilding program, Greg joined the school’s staff as a graduate teaching assistant. He then spent three years as a joiner with Bruckmann Yachts in Mississauga, Ontario. Greg moved to mid-coast Maine in the spring of 2002 and spent nine years with the boatbuilding crew at French & Webb in Belfast, Maine. In the spring of 2011 he joined the staff at WoodenBoat School as Waterfront Manager and moved into the position of Shop Manager in the spring of 2020. In the off-season he has worked as a boatbuilder/carpenter at several boatyards in the mid-coast region. Most recently at Brooklin Boat Yard.
Ann Brayton has lived here in Brooklin for years raising kids, animals, and vegetable gardens, as well as guiding kayak trips for a local lodge. At a young age she realized the rewards of making useful things with her own hands, and after several years working in a local sail loft over 20 years ago, she began her own canvas business in her barn, allowing her to work more easily around her family’s schedule. Initially, Ann focused mostly on yacht interiors (cushions and curtains) for boats being built or rebuilt by local boatyards or individual boat owners, but has since expanded into doing a wide range of exterior canvas projects as well.
Clint Chase is a former geologist, science teacher, meteorologist, and now small-boat designer and builder based in Saco, Maine. After a stint in college and high school teaching, he fused his education background with boatbuilding when he headed programs for the Compass Project in Portland, Maine. During that tenure he supervised and built over 100 small boats with kids and adults, witnessing every conceivable mistake a fledging boatbuilder could impart on their boat. (His favorite mantra is “always make new mistakes.”) Then, at the start of the 2008 economic slump, he did what any sane person would do: started his own boatbuilding and boat kit business! Currently, Clint runs his Chase Small Craft business making boat kits and building small boats. He avidly canoes, rows, and sails and spends as much time as possible with his wife and two kids.
Thad Danielson felt a strong attraction to the ocean and boats at the age of nine on a liner voyage to East Africa with his family in 1954, reinforced over the next four years by having the Dar es Salaam waterfront as his playground. After high school in Rhode Island followed by college and graduate school, Thad got into sailing. Some years later, a chance look at one of the first sets of plans sold by WoodenBoat turned his interest from general woodworking and house building to wooden boats. He moved to Marblehead, Massachusetts, set up Redd’s Pond Boatworks, and was soon busy building and restoring a wide variety of traditional wooden boats. He recently retired from the shop but is still building boats. Thad is the North American Secretary of the Albert Strange Association.
SAM DEVLIN has been in love with boats since childhood, a fact perhaps influenced by his first bedroom: a ship replica complete with curved walls and a sea berth. The boatbuilding operation he started on a shoestring in 1977 has flourished, and Devlin Designing Boat Builders each year rolls out between 20 and 40 stitch-and-glue boats of various sizes from its shop on the shores of Puget Sound, Washington. Sam is the author of two books on stitch-and-glue construction and has been a regular contributor of articles and designs for WoodenBoat and other magazines.
Brad Dimock combines a family proclivity for carpentry with his discovery of Grand Canyon boating when he was 18 years old. He has spent nearly every summer and a few winters since then running the Colorado and other rivers in a wide variety of vessels, from historic lapstrake replicas to modern river dories; from kayaks to paddle rafts to large motorized pontoons; and a few things that weren’t really boats at all. Brad rowed wooden boats for dory pioneer Martin Litton for 10 years, and has run dories extensively on whitewater rivers throughout the West. He has also written award-winning biographies of several lesser-known but mythic boaters of the Colorado River. Brad has built dories from Maine to New Zealand, but does most of his boatbuilding at his shop in Flagstaff, high in the Arizona desert. He combines techniques from traditional and modern methods, and occasionally invents new approaches as the need arises. Many of his boatbuilding techniques were born of necessity for lack of tools or time in wilderness settings.
Eric Dow was brought up a Maine fisherman, but pursued boatbuilding “as a means of being able to sleep later in the morning.” He graduated from the marine department at Washington County Vocational Technical Institute, and for over 25 years he has been building boats in Brooklin, Maine. He built many of the WoodenBoat half models for display, has been intimately involved with the development of the Nutshell Pram kits, and, these days specializes in the construction of the Haven 12½.
Mike Erkkinen became addicted to classic wooden boats and cruising in a traditional style in his early 20s after reading The Compleat Cruiser by L. Francis Herreshoff. This led to years of wandering up and down the East Coast of the U.S. and the Pacific Northwest in a Herreshoff 28, a Concordia, his current schooner ELLEN C. WELLS, and a handful of other classics. Mike learned many tricks from sailing mostly singlehanded during these adventures. As a woodworker, a designer and builder of homes, and a guy who could never afford boatyard rates, he has done all of his own boat maintenance and modifications. He has also built a number of trailerable sail and rowing craft. Students describe Mike as affable and patient, and not a bad guy to spend a whole day on the water with.
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Tyler Fields is a graduate of Oregon State University's history program. Throughout his childhood, time spent on the water was a constant. From lakes and rivers to time offshore, days on and around boats were some of the most impactful. In 2007, Tyler studied abroad on the schooner, OCEAN STAR, a tall ship operated by Seamester. These 80 days made it clear to Tyler that boats would be the foundation of whichever path he chose. After college, Tyler entered an internship with Ballentine's Boat Shop of Cataumet, Massachusetts. A small family-owned wooden boat shop, BBS is respected throughout the boatbuilding industry for their classic Herreshoff yacht restorations. While Tyler had viewed photography as a hobby for many years, it was here that Tyler found professional success mixing photography and the craftsmanship behind wooden boats. Over the last eight years, Tyler has chased fleets from dinghies to superyachts around the country. Based in Rhode Island, he travels throughout the summer photographing classic yacht regattas up and down the East Coast. Tyler has been published as both a photographer and writer in numerous publications, including WoodenBoat, Classic Boat, Soundings magazine, Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors, and others. Along with editorial assignments, Tyler has also worked with a wide range of private and commercial clients creating images, video, and advertising campaigns.
Queene Hooper Foster taught herself how to sail by reading books and studying the photographs of Morris and Stanley Rosenfeld. Right out of college she purchased a boat and learned to sail the hard way. She continued her education by sailing annually to Maine from the Chesapeake Bay, participating in the early classic yacht events in Newport, Rhode Island and in Maine. She has sailed in numerous Newport to Bermuda Races, always in classic wooden boats, and was the first woman to skipper her own boat in the that famous ocean race. Sailing for the New York Yacht Club in her Aage Nielsen Ketch SAPHAEDRA, Queene sailed across the Atlantic to Cowes, England and was the only woman skipper to race in the America’s Cup Jubilee. She and her international crew received a Third Place Trophy from Princess Anne for the week of competition. Her career has been in publishing in New York City, specializing in marine titles, including Chapman’s Guide to Boating Etiquette, a detailed guide to boating traditions. Queene, who holds a 100-ton USCG license, is an experienced sailing instructor and lived aboard SAPHAEDRA for many years. These days she enjoys being out under sail on her beautiful Concordia yawl MISTY.
Bob Fuller a third-generation boatbuilder and patternmaker with a commercial fishing background, grew up in Halifax, Massachusetts. He apprenticed with his father and grandfather, working in the family shop where he also learned the trade of designing and building traditional wooden ship’s steering wheels. Bob built his first wheel in 1976 at age 15. He enjoys building traditional small craft, including dories and Simmons Seaskiffs in his Plymouth, Massachusetts, shop. Recently, Bob has been teaching two apprentices the traditions of building ship’s steering wheels and wooden boats.
David Bill sailed aboard Lasers, Lightnings, and Atlantic Class sailboats during his boyhood years on Long Island Sound. In 1981, Dave left Southeastern Connecticut and went to sea as a third assistant engineer aboard freight ships, tank ships, and container ships. In 1987 he earned his USCG 50-ton Master auxiliary sail license and continued his seafaring career on sailing charter yachts in the Caribbean and New England waters. In 1996 Dave returned to the University of Rhode Island to complete his Masters of Marine Affairs degree. Captain Dave instructed Nautical Science at Tabor Academy gor 30 years until 2018. For the past three years he has lived aboard his Shannon 28 DREAM in the Bahamas and in the Southeast. His greatest joy is messing around in boats with people of all ages, including his daughter Tayler.
Born and raised on the mid-coast of Maine, by age ten REUBEN BROWN had already taken his first sailing lesson at the Camden Yacht Club. Seeing that he'd caught the sailing bug, Reuben's parents bought him a classic wooden turnabout that he sailed whenever the tide was right. Reuben purchased his own first boat in summer of 1997, a 15', 1935 Cape Cod Nimblet, which he continues to sail today with his two daughters. After graduating with honors from Colby-Sawyer College in 2001 with a fine arts degree in graphic design and studio arts, Reuben began gathering creative experience as a graphic designer, photographer, painter, and printmaker. His apprenticeship with well-known model builder Robert Eddy came to fruition some years later in 2005 after an invitation to assist at the model shop during an open studio tour. Now the principal and successor of Legacy Yacht Models in Camden, Maine, Reuben describes striving for perfection as a passion like no other: "One can always be more precise and so we continue to make improvements. The next yacht model is always better than the one before. This is what I love about being a craftsman"--a passion surpassed only by the pleasure of teaching his daughters the joy of sailing.
Tracy Eberhart has been perpetually distracted by boats ever since her mother taught her to sail, and childhood summers were spent tooling around the marshes of Currituck Sound, Outer Banks, North Carolina, in a beloved Jimmy Steele peapod. In college her attention was diverted away from academics by an intramural crew team, and while after graduation she spent a dozen years fundraising for a variety of New York City arts and cultural institutions, boating continued to occupy most of her extracurricular time. Tracy was a founding member of Harlem River Community Rowing, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to increase affordable and accessible rowing opportunities for all New Yorkers. In 2012 she was seduced by the community of creative, eccentric, and boat-obsessed characters that inhabit Brooklin, Maine, and traded a population of 8 million for 800. Her greatest fear is that her baby girl born in 2020 will not like boats.
REBECCA DAUGHERTY began kayaking by building a wooden kayak so she could paddle out to islands to paint and draw. She quickly realized there was a lot more to kayaking than easy transportation and has been learning, refining her skills and paddling in a variety of conditions since. In 2017 she and her husband paddled 625 miles of the coast of Maine on a 55-day exploration and painting trip. Rebecca has been a Registered Maine Sea Kayak Guide since 2010, is an ACA L3 Coastal Kayak instructor, and currently owns Sea Kayak Stonington with her husband Michael Daugherty in Stonington, Maine. She is a patient instructor who loves to see paddlers gain skills and confidence and share her enthusiasm for kayaking and coastal Maine.
DOUGLAS BROOKS is a boatbuilder, writer, researcher, and teacher specializing in the construction of traditional wooden boats for museums and private clients. Since 1990, he has been researching traditional Japanese boatbuilding, documenting the techniques and design secrets of the craft. He has built boats with nine boatbuilders from throughout Japan, all craftspeople in their seventies and eighties; he is the sole apprentice for seven of his teachers. In 2014, Douglass received the Rare Craft Fellowship Award from the American Craft Council in recognition of his work in Japan. His work has also been honored by the Japanese Ministry of Culture. Brooks has published five books, two book chapters, and numerous articles on Japanese boatbuilding. His book Japanese Wooden Boatbuilding is the only comprehensive survey of the craft. Douglass regularly lectures across the United States and Japan. He has been a visiting faculty at Middlebury College and Bates College and has taught workshops at The Apprenticeshop, the Carpenters Boat Shop, Lowell's Boat Shop, and the Northwest Maritime Center. He is a 1982 graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, with a B.A. in Philosophy and a 2002 graduate of the Middlebury College Language School in Japanese. He lives with his wife Catherine in Vergennes, Vermont. For more on his work, visit www.douglasbrooksboatbuilding.com.
Martin Gardner, born on the Chesapeake Bay, and with two grandfathers who were professional seamen, should have had a life in boats. It started well enough, with numerous fishing trips out on the bay and various model boats. Then something went wrong, and for a few decades, Martin pursued a career that included more time in airports than in anchorages. In the 1980s he came to his senses and began sailing seriously, eventually leaving his day job to cruise for four years aboard a 28′ Lyle Hess cutter. He has sailed over 25,000 miles on a variety of bluewater boats. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard Master’s license and an assortment of U.S. sailing and ASA instructor qualifications. He now teaches sailing year round and keeps a cruising catboat back on the Chesapeake Bay.
Paul Gartside was born in North Wales in 1953. His boyhood and early working life were spent on the River Fal in Cornwall where Paul’s family had a boatyard. He studied boat design at Southampton College of Technology and is an associate member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. In 1983, Paul moved to Canada and has lived on both east and west coasts. In 2016 Paul moved to the U.S. and now lives in East Hampton, New York. For as long as Paul can remember, he has been possessed by the need to build boats, and as time goes on there seems little chance of a cure. The majority of Paul’s experience has been in wood construction, although as the design side of his business has grown, he has worked in most other materials and in many areas of the marine industry, both commercial and pleasure. These days, Paul divides his time between building, designing, and concentrating on one-off wooden boats toward the small end of the industry spectrum. Many of his design clients are home builders. It is among this clientele that he finds the motivations most genuine and his sympathies strongest.
John C. Harris owns Chesapeake Light Craft, the Annapolis-based purveyor of wooden boat kits and plans. His long tenure at CLC was preceded by a passion for boatbuilding and small craft that stretches back to earliest childhood. His first successful design was launched at age 14. More paddling, rowing, and sailing craft followed quickly, though he paused to get a degree in music—his second passion. After college he was determined to make a career as a boatbuilder and designer in the esoteric world of wooden boats. Eighteen years later, he’s shipped 24,000 boat kits and seen his designs built in more than 70 countries. His work as a designer and builder ranges from dinghies to large multihulls and from kayaks to powerboats. He lives on the shores of Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis with his wife, daughter, and an always-changing fleet of curious small boats.
Reed Hayden was introduced to boats at the age of 12 when he got his first summer job on the Hyannis, Massachusetts, waterfront. He earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Massachusetts and settled in the seaside town of Sandwich where he was a leading woodcarver. In 2000 Reed started his own successful sign-carving business while he was working part-time at Ballentine’s Boat Shop in Cataumet. It was at this boatyard where he became interested in boatbuilding. In 2003 he and his family headed up to Maine where he joined the crew at The Hinckley Company. These days Reed keeps busy working as a carpenter at Brooklin Boat Yard and doing custom commercial and residential signwork at his own shop in Surry.
Originally from midcoast Maine, Arista Holden grew up sailing in various traditional small craft throughout Penobscot Bay, She is a captain and long-time seamanship instructor for adult and youth programs including Outward Bound, the National Outdoor Leadership School, Atlantic Challenge Team USA, the Nova Scotia Sea School, the Viking boat Polaris, and Morse Alpha Expeditions. A student of languages, culture and craft, Arista has traveled, sailed, taught, and studied all over the world. Just last year, she sailed 800 miles of the Norwegian coast in a 42′ square-rigged femboring with Fosen Folkehogskole (Folk School). Arista holds a B.A. from Hampshire College, current Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications, and a 50-ton Master’s captain’s license.
Amy Hosa hails from San Francisco. She is a retired illustrator and graphic designer, and was also the exhibit designer at the Maritime Museum at San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park. Her fine art watercolors have been in gallery shows, and she is a member of the California Watercolor Association. Amy’s love of things maritime took hold over 30 years ago when she volunteered in the Boat Shop on Hyde Street Pier to restore old wooden boats from the museum collection and learned to sail on San Francisco Bay. www.amyhosa.com
Growing up in Rockland, Maine, Su Morrill Johnson was fascinated with the arts at an early age. She received a B.A. in Art Education from the University of Southern Maine. After graduating, Su taught art for over 38 years in high schools throughout mid-coast Maine. In the mid-70’s, she owned and operated a studio in Port Clyde, Maine featuring her watercolors. In 1982, Su opened the Camden Pottery/Johnson Gallery showcasing her paintings along with ceramics and clay sculptures created by her husband Richard. In 2010, the gallery re-located to Rockland, Maine. Su has studied watercolor painting with leading artists including Zoltan Szabo, Tony Van Hasselett, Judi Wagner, Christopher Schenk, Frank Webb, Don Stone, and Carol Sebold.
Bill Jordan is a box maker from western Pennsylvania. His first involvement in woodworking was as a child in his father’s converted cellar workshop. Later in life, Bill engaged in woodworking out of necessity and eventually for relaxation, building bentwood boxes in both the Shaker and Colonial style. He participates at selected craft shows in his area but his main reasons for box making are for enjoyment and to have gifts to give. Bill also designs and builds boxes to meet the specific needs or desires of people who order them. Box making served as a stepping stone to boatbuilding for Bill. Having completed his own canoe and paddles, he is currently building a Joel White–designed Haven 12 ½ daysailer. Bill is retired from a successful teaching, coaching, and athletic administrative career. He and his wife Judy are do-it-yourselfers living on a piece of rural property that, over the past 25 years, they have transformed from a hayfield into a picturesque homestead. Bill and his family enjoy boating at Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park, Deep Creek Lake in Maryland, and the Three Rivers and Point area of Pittsburgh.
Born in 1960, Michael Kahn is a lifelong resident of Chester County, Pennsylvania. During his childhood, his family summered on the coasts of Maine and Topsail Island, North Carolina. This is where his love of the sea and sailing originated. After high school, Michael apprenticed in a portrait studio where they used Hasselblad cameras with a square 6x6 cm film format. Here Michael received hands on training in film handling and black-and-white printmaking. Several years later, the owner of the studio changed the business model and became a commercial advertising photographer. Michael stayed on as an assistant, learning skills in advertising, product, and editorial photography. From there, he branched off on his own, shooting for magazines and other commercial clients. In 1990 he published a book of black-and-white photographs of the Brandywine River in southeastern Pennsylvania. In the mid-’90s Michael took his first sailing photograph of a small boat in the fog on a lake in the Adirondacks. This image launched his nautical photography career. Michael made the decision to stay with his film cameras instead of going with the new trends in digital equipment, and continues to make handmade photographs in his darkroom. His work has been exhibited in over 50 solo and group gallery and museum exhibitions throughout the United States, Switzerland, Scotland, France, Bahrain, and Nepal. Books published on his work include Over the Dunes (2015), The Spirit of Sailing (2004), and Brandywine (1990).
John Karbott spent most of his childhood along the beaches and waterfront of Plymouth, Massachusetts, watching commercial lobsterboats and occasionally catching a ride on one. He dreamt that someday he would have his own. During high school he purchased an old wooden skiff and a few traps, and joined the crowd. While in school, he lobstered and raked sea moss during the summer season and worked odd jobs throughout the winter. He graduated from Boston’s Wentworth Institute with an Associate Degree in Architectural Engineering, but boats and the water were his first loves. John spent the next 30 or so years, lobstering commercially in the Plymouth/Cape Cod area. After owning and maintaining wooden boats all his life, he decided to pursue that career full time and sold his successful lobstering business. John now keeps busy building boat and doing boat repairs in southeastern Massachusetts, mostly of the lobsterboat style/design.
Geoff Kerr does business as Two Daughters Boatworks in Westford, Vermont, on New England’s “west coast.” A boater since taking a Hurricane Island Outward Bound School course at age16, and later a Coast Guard officer, Geoff learned the trade at the Alexandria Seaport Foundation with Joe Youcha. He served as shop foreman and instructor in that dynamic environment. In his one-man, full-service Vermont shop, Geoff does small-craft repairs and restorations, as well as new construction, specializing in Iain Oughtred’s Caledonia Yawl. He has been affiliated with Chesapeake Light Craft since the company’s infancy, and is a licensed builder of their many designs, as well as an authorized and experienced instructor.
Barry King has been sailing all his life. Along with his wife Jennifer Martin and their children, this family has been sharing their schooner MARY DAY with guests since 1998. In addition, to being a USCG licensed master, Barry has an M.S. in Experiential education and is a Wilderness EMT. “I love seeing the strong teamwork and sense of self that can be gained by the endless variety of skills that make up the world of traditional sailing vessels.”
George Krewson is a rocket scientist based in Cocoa, Florida, where he has spent almost four decades working on America’s space program. George grew up sailing and surfing and began building boats after visiting WoodenBoat School during a Maine vacation. After building a few kayaks on his own, he became a “beta” builder for Chesapeake Light Craft and has assembled several prototypes over the years. As an instructor, he particularly enjoys sharing the sense of amazement he felt with his own first build when flat pieces of plywood came together into a beautifully curved hull. George began experimenting with exotic wood veneers with his second boat, and has become a “go-to” guy in classes and on the CLC forum for technical tips on the subject. He guarantees every boat built in one of his classes will float.
A passionate sailor, Susan Lavoie has extensive cruising experience in coastal as well as offshore waters, in addition to many years of dinghy and one-design racing. As past Commodore of the Blue Water Sailing Club in Boston, Massachusetts, she was responsible for organizing cruise activities, developing seminars based on safety, navigation, and electronics and racing techniques. A member of the National Women’s Sailing Association, Susan instructs yearly seminars directed toward women. She is the author and illustrator of Sailing Safely and How to Get Home, a sailing book for beginners and intermediates. Holding a U.S. Coast Guard license, Susan enthusiastically shares her passion for sailing, teaching the skills needed for enjoyment and confidence on the water, and just messing around on boats with others.
Jay Hockenberry grew up in Winston-Salem, NC, where he picked up a copy of WoodenBoat magazine as a teenager and discovered boat building. Always a maker, Jay found boat design and building to be creative, challenging, hands-on, useful, and beautiful. He found and restored a Blue Jay (#2135, built from a kit in the 1960’s) and interned at the Rockport Apprenticeshop when it was located in Rockport, ME. It was there that Jay built a Susan Skiff and discovered all the things that go into traditional wooden boat construction and the joy of launching a boat you built. Jay had a short stint at Hatteras Yachts in High Point, NC, and started working at Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) in 1999. After a five-year break, Jay returned to CLC in 2010, and serves as part of the bridge between the idea and the reality in the design/kit development side of things. As the third-longest tenured employee at CLC, Jay has a thorough understanding of past and current models. When not working, Jay is always willing to get outside and into any kind of boat.
Growing up outside of Boston, WEST HOWLAND spent much of his upbringing on the water south of Cape Cod as well as the lakes, rivers, and streams of the Adirondacks. After satisfying the alluring pull of tall ships after high school, West found himself in the desert for college in Prescott, Arizona. The high desert and Four Corners region have been home since 2006, where he has been guiding rafts, kayaks, and wooden dories down the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. Having lived and guided all across the country and beyond, West currently builds furniture, oars, paddles, and soon whitewater dories of his own in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Robin Lincoln grew up sailing on Cape Cod. She says the greatest gift her family ever gave her was exposure to water and boats at an early age. Sailing has been a constant thread throughout her life. Racing as a young girl in wooden Mercurys, Beetle Cats, Lightnings, and Wianno Seniors, she won many championships. Robin also taught sailing seminars, organized races, and helped establish summer sailing programs for children and adults at yacht clubs and summer camps. She sailed to Europe aboard the schooner WESTWARD and cruised the west coasts of the U.S., Mexico, and Central America aboard a 38-foot cutter. Over the years, Robin’s sailing experiences have taken her up and down both coasts of the U.S. from Canada to Florida, Mexico, and the Carribean. She was a partner in a sail loft in Costa Rica for four years, where she had the opportunity to examine sails and rigging while sailing on different boats from all over the world. For over 20 years she owned and operated Center Harbor Sails in Brooklin, Maine. Robin’s life both in the loft and on the water gives her an intimate and well-rounded knowledge of boats and sailing. She has enjoyed teaching at the WoodenBoat School for almost every year since its inception. She continues to spend every spare minute she can sailing the beautiful coast of Maine.
Gary Lowell was born and raised in a small town in Maine. After living in Wisconsin for six years, he moved with his first wooden boat to Greensboro, North Carolina. While studying broadcasting in college, Gary worked at the local TV station as a director and lighting director. While the job paid the bills, boatbuilding fed his soul. He began rescuing and repairing old, classic sailboats and sailing them along the North Carolina coast. A descendant of the well-known New England boatbuilding Lowell family, Gary couldn’t ignore his heritage any longer. In 1993, Gary left television to open his own boatbuilding shop. Starting in his backyard, the business has since grown to one of the largest wooden boatbuilding shops in the country. Lowell Boats Inc. is an award-winning boatshop specializing in classic runabout restoration. To supplement his painting and varnishing course at WoodenBoat School, Gary has produced a high-quality DVD on Finishing Techniques for Wooden Boats. Gary often takes summers off to travel back to Maine with his family and enjoys sailing the coastal waters.
Bruce MacKenzie is a shipwright, boatbuilder, and educator with 50+ years’ experience in all manner of woodworking, from basic carpentry to serving as Senior Shipwright on USS CONSTELLATION in Baltimore Harbor for 10 years. This culminated in building three of the replicas of the ship’s boats, built with participation by students from Baltimore City schools through a STEM-based program at the Living Classrooms Foundation. Bruce’s work as an educator began in 1978 when he founded the boatbuilding program at North Carolina’s Cape Fear Technical Institute, now Cape Fear Community College, where the program is ongoing. Bruce’s methods in teaching applied math through boatbuilding using proven, hands-on projects and exercises have been adopted by Building to Teach, a national program. A Maine native, Bruce learned and pursued his craft in many of Maine’s most prestigious yards, including Rockport Marine and Wayfarer Marine. He spent two years as Director of Philadelphia’s Workshop on the Water, the boatbuilding shop at Independence Seaport Museum. There he oversaw the building of two replica whaleboats for the CHARLES W. MORGAN—the last surviving whaler—for the National Whaleboat Project at Mystic Seaport. When not trying to figure out how things fit together, Bruce pursues sailing, diving, and playing blues harmonica in a band. These days, Bruce has set up an independent shop and chooses to work on projects that captivate his interests.
Originally born in Minnesota, Pat Mahon grew up in Arizona, then moved to the Washington, D.C., area and eventually crossed paths with Bruce Nelson, a Maine-trained boatbuilder who took Pat under his wing. Working with Bruce rekindled a passion he had had for boats since his earliest years, building ships and boats from kits and reading everything he could find about ships and the sea. After a few years in D.C., Pat took off for England and was hired as an apprentice boatbuilder working on a 120′ wooden motoryacht. It was here that he learned what true craftsmanship could be. On returning to the U.S., he headed to Maine and helped build a variety of custom boats at yards in Boothbay Harbor, Camden, and Rockland. After 10 years, Pat moved to Port Townsend, Washington, with his wife Lisa. While there he worked with a large custom builder doing elegant interiors on megayachts, and ran his own boatbuilding and repair shop. For 10 years at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building he taught woodworking, boatbuilding, and the new Contemporary Wooden Boat Building and Yacht Interiors curriculum. Next came another adventure and move to Michigan where Pat became Director of the new Great Lakes Boat Building School. During his 10 years with GLBBS, he designed and taught a two-year boatbuilding course, and worked with the board to develop the school policies, budgets, marketing strategies, and everything else required to launch and sustain a successful educational nonprofit. In July 2017, he returned to Port Townsend and has been involved in a major restoration of the 1903 Morecombe Bay Prawner ZISKA. Pat also takes time to do marine surveys, and is one of the few on the West Coast with the knowledge to accurately appraise a wooden vessel.
Dillon Majoros started learning how to sail when he was a wee lad on the coastal waters of New England. He’s logged thousands of miles in everything from high-performance racing dinghies to two-masted schooners, yet he still manages to run aground in the Chesapeake with embarrassing frequency. He’s been drawing boats since he could hold a pencil. Big ones and small ones, fast ones and slow ones, but always—on the corner of some notebook, the back of a receipt—inexpensive ones. He refined his work through the Design Program at The Landing School of Boatbuilding and Design, and began his professional career with Michael Peters Yacht Design in Sarasota, Florida. Mike taught him how to design for production, and Florida introduced Dillon to skinny-water sailing. Toward the end of his tenure at MPYD, Dillon teamed up with a few childhood pals and built a 30’ long, skin-on-frame proa with a $1,500 budget to sail in the first Race to Alaska event. Though he didn’t quite make the start, he still enjoyed a 1,000-mile, month-long cruise through the Strait of Georgia up to Desolation Sound. This little adventure helped him land his dream job as a designer for Chesapeake Light Craft. Through CLC, Dillon loves to share his enthusiasm for small craft, whether on the water with first-time sailors or in the classroom building boats and campers. Dillon and his partner, Jessie, spend their free time volunteering with the Station North Tool Library and working on their house—a 1981, 40’ Freedom cat-ketch—in Baltimore, Maryland.
Since his launching, Pete Marshall has been, one way or another, immersed in traditional boats and their culture. By the age of 13, Pete had completed his first boat, an open-water rowing shell, with the guidance of his middle-school shop teacher. Interestingly, this same teacher used to play in the wood shavings that George Pocock made as he built his famous rowing shells. From there, Pete has worked multiple venues from boatshop manager at a museum to traditional ship rigger. He learned the rope side of things from Courtney Andersen, the ship rigging supervisor at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park Museum, California, and wire splicing from Jamie White, the Director of the Galveston Seaport Museum in Texas. Pete owns and operates Marshall’s Cove Marine Paint, based in Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Graham Mckay grew up in Amesbury, Massachusetts, on the banks of the Merrimack River. His early fascination with boats and maritime history drew him to sailing tall ships. After attending Harvard for economics and baseball, he sought to experience the maritime industry from all angles. Graham spent time as a commercial fisherman, professional sailor, fisheries scientist, and commercial diver. In 2006, he attended the University of Bristol, England, for a masters degree in Maritime History and Archaeology. Upon his return to the states, Graham split his time building boats at Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury and as a captain for the Ocean Classroom Foundation. He is the emerging Executive Director of Lowell’s Boat Shop which, in addition to being a wooden boat shop, is also a fully functioning museum and education center. Graham lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with his lovely and patient girlfriend Abbie and their dog Niki.
Erica Moody was born in landlocked upstate New York and schooled in western Massachusetts, but finally made it to the coast in 1991 for a summer working on Martha’s Vineyard. Since then she has not been far from the sea. Upon moving to Boston in 1992, she was fortunate to sail on a friend’s 1940s Alden sloop for a few years, getting to know the Massachusetts coast first from the sea rather than from the road. Her passion for sailing and the beautiful craftsmanship and design of the wooden sailboat has never left. She was inspired to find a career in the building trades, and found an apprenticeship with a custom metalworker in Boston. She has now been working professionally as a metal craftsman in and around Boston for 25 years. Over the last 18 years Erica has been focusing on doing custom metal fabrication under her name, and in 2016 adding a line of personal work in small metal housewares and woodworking tools. Along with teaching at WoodenBoat School each summer for several years, she has taught classes and workshops at Wentworth Institute of Technology, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, The Apprenticeshop, and The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. Erica finally made the move from Boston to the wonderful state of Maine in 2014 and is living and working in the midcoast village of Waldoboro.
Matt Morello grew up in Middletown, Connecticut. After high school he followed a passion for art and painting and attended the Hartford Art School in Hartford. During his time there, he was introduced to an ongoing restoration of an Atkin double-ender, and spent countless hours drawing and studying boats at the Mystic Seaport Museum. After building several models and learning to loft on his basement floor, Matt enrolled in the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island. While a student there, he was involved in the restoration of a Herreshoff S-boat led by instructor Warren Barker. At the same time, Matt also interned at the Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport under the guidance of Walt Ansel. Since 2014, Matt has worked with East Passage Boatwrights in Bristol, Rhode Island, where he has contributed his woodworking and boatbuilding skills to many wooden boats both large and small, most notably the 1935 Olin Stephens–designed SANTANA. He now lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with his girlfriend Evelyn and their sardine-loving cat. Matt still draws and paints, and in his free time enjoys exploring the state on vintage bicycles he restores in their living room.
A longtime interest in woodworking led Mike Moros to open his own successful cabinet shop not far from where he grew up in Pine Brook, New Jersey. Over time, he found himself attracted to wooden boats and this eventually brought Mike to WoodenBoat School as a student in 2001. After a few courses in successive years and joining in on Alumni Work Weeks, Mike signed on as the school’s Assistant Shop Manager in 2006. In ’08 Mike took over the reins as Shop Manager. During the off-season Mike has worked on the carpentry crew at Brooklin Boat Yard. In 2009 Mike opened his own business, Michael Moros Woodworking, providing wooden boat work, custom woodworking and general contracting. When not working, Mike enjoys being outdoors, especially boating and fishing. He recently completed a handsome Glen-L Marine 16′ center console skiff for himself and is now restoring a 1953 Chris Craft.
Rich Naple has been sailing since 1967. His first port of call was where the Severn River meets the Chesapeake Bay as a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy. Before leaving for his assignment as a bridge officer on the USS KITTY HAWK, he remained in Annapolis to teach the fundamentals of sailing to incoming freshman on Rainbow 24s. Rich has also taught sailing on Rhodes 19s in San Francisco Bay and Comets on a lake in the Berkshires. His fondness for speed on the water led him to sail on Hobie 16s for many years. He continues to enjoy windsurfing on Great Sacandaga Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. With an easygoing nature and encouraging teaching style, Rich shares his love of sailing in a unique fashion.
Annie Nixon fell in love with the ocean and sailing right after college when she went to work for Thompson Island Outward Bound in Boston, Massachusetts. She learned to sail, navigate, and teach aboard their traditional 30′ open rowing and sailing vessels. Annie then spent four years at the Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset, Maine, leading 21-day sailing wilderness trips for high school and college-age students. On these expeditions Annie captained both a 26′ Crotch Island Pinky and a 28′ Mackinaw Lake design. She taught elements of seamanship, wilderness “leave no trace” ethics, and marine ecology as part of these expeditions. On and off for seven summers after that Annie worked as deckhand and mate on the schooner MARY DAY and occasionally the schooner AMERICAN EAGLE. Since 2006 she has taught sailing at WoodenBoat School and led weeklong sail staff training expeditions for the Chewonki Foundation. Annie currently holds a USCG 100-ton license.
While growing up in western Pennsylvania, Bruce Richter spent countless hours in his dad’s workshop building models and making sawdust before getting sidetracked with garage bands, sports, and college. The urge to build returned years later when he and his wife Jan moved to New York City, although he quickly realized apartment living wasn’t exactly conducive to woodworking. The planets aligned when he discovered WoodenBoat School and Kerbs Boathouse in Central Park, home to over a hundred radio-control sailboats, including many hand-crafted wooden designs. Since then, Bruce has taken WoodenBoat School’s pond yacht construction course six times and served as its assistant instructor before taking over the course as lead teacher. Bruce has built several Vintage Marblehead RC sailboats, and has won numerous national craftsmanship awards. Bruce is currently Commodore of the 100-plus-year-old Central Park Model Yacht Club, Class Coordinator of the US VMYG Vintage Marblehead fleet, designer/art director of the vintage group’s publication The Model Yacht, and occasionally builds guitars. He has spent his career as a writer/creative director in major New York City advertising agencies and as president/creative director of his own firm.
A model builder for over 50 years, Maine crafstman Al Ross has for two decades designed ship model kits and built custom ship models for BlueJacket Shipcrafters in Searsport, Maine. During his younger years, he designed technical training programs for nuclear power and taught technical writing at a four-year college. Al earned a PhD from Florida State University, and has authored and illustrated seven books on naval vessels, as well as provided illustrations for other naval authors’ works. His ship models can be found in a large number of private, corporate, and government collections. His model of TS MAINE is housed at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, and USS MAINE (1898) is at the Naval War College in Rhode Island.
Greg Rössel grew up cruising on the waters of New York Harbor and spending time in the boat yards on the south shore of Staten Island where economics (more than anything else) made wooden boats the craft of choice. He makes his home in Maine where he specializes in the construction and repair of small wooden boats. Since graduating at the top of his class in boatbuilding technology from Washington County Vocational Technical Institute, Greg has had a multifaceted career. For several years, he was an assistance restorer for a major private collection of antique runabouts and airplanes. Then he spent another couple of years as an instructor and assistant director at Maine Maritime Museum’s Apprenticeshop program. All the while, he was building his own shop at home in Troy, Maine, and tackling a wide variety of small-boat construction and restoration projects. For over 30 years, Greg has been able to work for himself full-time, aside from a few odd jobs like setting up a wooden Whitehall factory in Mexico, custom lines taking and documentation for museums and other customers, and writing over 200 articles for WoodenBoat, and other publications. He has also written and illustrated Building Small Boats, a book on carvel and traditional lapstrake boatbuilding, published by WoodenBoat Publications and The Boatbuilder’s Apprentice, which explores other styles of construction and techniques. Since 1987, Greg has been an instructor at WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine, teaching lofting, skiff building and the “Fundamentals of Boatbuilding”. Also, for the past 21 years he has been producing a weekly two-hour radio program about world music (which mercifully) has nothing to do with boats.
Michael Saari is a master metalsmith with 40 years of experience in forging, fabricating, and casting metals for hardware and sculpture. He was the lead shipsmith in the restoration of Mystic Seaport’s whaleship CHARLES MORGAN and was selected to crew on the bark’s 38th voyage along the New England coast in 2014. He has studied abroad and in the U.S., completing a master’s degree in Fine Art. Commissions have included a 20′ eyeglass sculpture commemorating American Optical, restoration of historic hardware at major museums, and demonstrations for educational purposes at numerous conferences. Having taught workshops in schools of handcraft in Scandinavia and the U.S., Michael most recently left teaching at Nichols College to accept a position as Blacksmith for the City of New York. A lifelong sailor, he has competed in the Star Class, restored a wooden Firefly, and has enjoyed teaching bronze casting at WoodenBoat School.
JIM MACDONALD is spending his life in play clothes, happily creating in wood for over 40 years now. He began woodworking professionally in 1981, and before starting his own business in 1988 spent time working in various shops as a moldmaker, guitarmaker, cabinetmaker, ship's carpenter, and boatbuilder. Upon opening his own place, Jim began building custom furniture which features inlay work. In the early 1990s he was taught the double-bevel cutting style of marquetry by Silas Kopf, and has gone on to teach this technique, also using it to create art and embellish electric guitar designs. Clients have included the Gibson Custom Shop, Petros Guitars, Circa Guitars, and Hinckley Yachts. His Allman Brothers Tribute Guitar is in the collection of their Big House Museum in Macon, Georgia. He teaches marquetry at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, and has also taught workshops at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, the Carpenter's Boat Shop, WoodenBoat School, and the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. An avowed lake sailor, Jim sails at home on Unity Pond and has enjoyed sail-camping on Moosehead Lake and Lake Champlain. He has had a string of interesting wooden boats--a 1970s owner-built 22' Wharram Hina catamaran, a 1957 23' AR True Rocket centerboard sloop, and currently a 1948 Rhodes 18 centerboard sloop. He also, on a day-to-day basis, likes to explore all surroundings for their imagined possibilities, and can't help but get his hands working with tools and materials to create just for the joy of it.
Hank Mosley is the chief mate aboard Virginia's first fleet at Jamestown Settlement, where he began his career working aboard the living history museum's reproductions of the DISCOVERY, GODSPEED and SUSAN CONSTANT. He has worked aboard traditional sailing and educational vessels for more than twenty-five years. Hank has sailed aboard the tall ships "HMS" ROSE, TOLE MORE, SPIRIT OF MASSACHUSETTS, HARVEY GAMAGE, GAZELA, PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II, LADY MARYLAND, WHEN & IF, KALMAR NYCKEL, SPIRIT OF SOUTH CAROLINA, EXY JOHNSON, BOWDOIN, and the USCG Barque EAGLE. In 2002, he was a maritime consultant for the movie "Master & Commander: Far Side of the World". He served for five years as the captain of the schooner VIRGINIA in Norfolk, VA and was the Director of Maritime Operations for OpSail 2012 Virginia. Hank holds a 500-ton Ocean master's license of steam and auxiliary sail and a B.A. in history from Christopher Newport University (1997). He lives in Newport News, VA with his wife and three children.
Originally from Michigan, Andy Nadolny built his first boat when he was 14 and taught himself how to sail. During that time, Andy and his father would visit the construction of a Mackinaw boat being built in Michigan. A lifelong love of the sea ensued, and he recently retired from a 41-year career in the Coast Guard. His search for a retirement boat brought him to Maine and The Apprenticeshop. During his first visit here, The Apprenticeshop was in the process of building a Mackinaw boat. This was a sure sign that he belonged here! Andy and his wife Sarah fell in love with the excellent sailing grounds the area has to offer and the self-reliant attitude and organic focus of Mainers. They have recently moved off their sailboat and currently live in the house they built in Lincolnville. Andy has a 100-ton Masters Near Coastal license.
Eric Schade was trained as a mechanical engineer, and has practiced that profession for 20 years. In 1983 he built his first boat, a small strip-built canoe. Since then he has built more than 50 small boats, including kayaks, canoes, rowing boats, and small sailboats. In 1996 he founded Shearwater Boats to offer custom strip-built canoes and kayaks. Gradually Shearwater has developed to the point where it offers an extensive line of stitch-and-glue watercraft — kayaks, canoes, rowing boats, and sailboats. In 2005 Eric started designing boats for Chesapeake Light Craft. These new boats include Shearwater, Wood Duck, and Shearwater Tandem, which have all proven quite popular. Eric has taught boatbuilding at a number of shops and has mentored the construction of nearly 200 boats. This experience, and the feedback he gets from supervising the construction of his designs, not only has improved his skills as a builder, but has honed his skills as a designer. Eric’s greatest area of expertise is the computer-generated engineering of complicated and precise plywood boat kits that, when cut by computer-controlled machinery, can be assembled by amateurs.
Nick Schade grew up around canoes and kayaks. After beginning a career as an electrical engineer for the U.S. Navy specializing in low-frequency electro-magnetics, he realized he wanted to get back on the water himself. Not able to afford the kind of boat he wanted, Nick decided to design and build a “stripbuilt” kayak. While this type of construction was popular with canoes, it was not commonly adapted for kayaks. Nick worked together with his brother to develop the process, and over the years has branched out and developed innovative kayak designs using the plywood stitch-and-glue method. As his skill as a kayak paddler and boatbuilder evolved, Nick’s designs evolved to match his changing aims. The driving goal has been to maximize on-the-water performance while respecting the natural materials used to create the boat. Out of these efforts, Nick has created Guillemot Kayaks, centered on designing high-performance sea kayaks for other craftsmen interested in building their own boats. He wrote The Strip-Built Sea Kayak, an instruction book describing the strip-built method, which has helped foster a revival in the construction of wooden kayaks. Nick’s shop is currently located in Glastonbury, Connecticut, where he builds prototypes of new designs and makes a select number of custom-built kayaks. He has taught kayak construction at Mystic Seaport and the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. His work has been exhibited at the American Craft Museum, and one of his boats is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Andrew Schroeher is a young Annapolis, Maryland native, with a passion for woodworking and small boats. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Wood Science and Technology and has a vast knowledge of the characteristics and capabilities of engineered wood products and the machinery used to produce them. For the last 4+ years, Andrew has also been an integral part of the Chesapeake Light Craft production team, as he manages and produces parts in the solid timber shop, as well as assisting in construction of many of the recent prototype boats, including the Teardrop Camper, Tenderly 10, and several others. As an avid sailor and paddler from a young age, Andrew has been sailing competitively in Annapolis for more than 15 years in a variety of fleets.
Gene Shaw moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1972 after receiving a Fine Arts degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Philadelphia College of Art. While at PAFA, he received numerous awards, prizes, and grants. In Lancaster, Gene combined his fine art/design training and his love of woodworking, a skill he learned from his father, to establish The Wooden Plane, a custom cabinetry and home restoration business. He and his wife built a new home in town, featured in Fine Homebuilding magazine in 2006. The Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County twice awarded him the C. Emlen Urban Award, for preservation leadership and new-home construction in an historic district.
Since 2005 he has traveled to Brooklin, Maine, to attend boatbuilding courses at WoodenBoat School. While here, Gene has made numerous sketches that are the basis for the woodcuts he creates upon his return to Lancaster. His woodcut prints and tables made from repurposed objects have been exhibited in numerous museum and gallery shows. Gene is represented by Lancaster Galleries in Lancaster; Green Lion Gallery in Bath, Maine; and Turtle Gallery in Deer Isle, Maine.
F. Jay Smith apprenticed to master builders in Norway and the Faroe Islands and has specialized in Nordic lapstrake construction for over 30 years (see WoodenBoat #234). Regular trips to Scandinavia over the years have enabled Jay to expand his research on Scandinavian-related boatbuilding techniques. At his Aspoya Boats yard in Anacortes, Washington, he keeps busy with new construction, repairs, and interior refits. His main focus, however, is on traditional Scandinavian designs including prams, faerings, Folkboats, and, currently, a 56′ replica of a Viking ship. As a way of passing on the knowledge that was passed on to him, Jay teaches boatbuilding in his own shop, and has lectured at The Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle and taught at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Hadlock, Washington.
The love of sailing has kept Gretchen Snyder on or near the water for most of her life. For over 30 years Gretchen has delivered boats up and down the East Coast, across the Atlantic, in the Mediterranean, and throughout the Caribbean islands where she spent three years in the charter business. Her enthusiasm for sailing and boats is not only confined to the sea, but has also led to her own land-based business. Gretchen has owned and operated “The Loft” in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, a sail loft specializing in gaff-rigged working sails, as well as the canvas needs of the entire boat. She sold The Loft in July 2005 and decided to cruise new horizons, the sea of educaton. She is now a licensed elementary school teacher presently enjoying her Second/Third Graders on Martha’s Vineyard.
Growing up in suburban Detroit, Michigan, Eric Stockinger spent most of his summers at a family cottage on Lake Huron when he got bitten by the water bug and went on to get a degree in freshwater fisheries management from Michigan State University. Eric was introduced to woodworking by his father as teenager. After college he started building cabinetry and furniture on the side, and also several kayaks. He had been aware of The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, Maine, since his freshman year at college, and after working as a manager for the outdoor outfitter REI in Detroit, San Diego, and Dallas, he packed up his truck and headed to Rockland. After completing a two-year apprenticeship at The Apprenticeshop, Eric stayed on as the Shop Director. Several years later, he took over as Executive Director, and held that position for three-and-a-half years. In the winter of 2012, Eric and his wife moved up the coast to Surry, Maine, and he began working at Brooklin Boat Yard. A few years later he started teaching at WoodenBoat School. After eight years at the boatyard, the last few as a project manager, Eric was given the opportunity to take the helm at the school. When he’s not thinking about wooden boats or cheering on his Michigan State Spartans, Eric enjoys hiking with his wife, tinkering in his home workshop or reading a good, non-fiction book.
John Stoudt was an industrial arts teacher focusing on woodworking, metalworking, and architectural and engineering drawing. He honed his skills and further developed his expertise here at WoodenBoat School. John took his first class with Alan Suydam, returning many years to build and sail model yachts. He has built and restored over 100 model boats, including many vintage model yachts. His skill set enables him to build a complete boat including hull construction, custom fittings, casting ballasts, making the sails, and tuning the rig for sailing. John is president of the United States Vintage Model Yacht Group (USVMYG) and an associate regional director of the American Model Yacht Association. He collects model yachts and currently has over 60 boats in his collection. John races various pond yachts in Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and has participated in National events, placing in the top three on multiple occasions in the vintage Marblehead class USVMYG National Championship regatta with his 1934 vintage Marblehead.
Bill Thomas grew up paddling the rivers and coast of North and South Carolina, playing in the mountains and trying find meaningful work while avoiding a real job. He has been a self-employed woodworker, cabinetmaker, furniture builder and boatbuilder for nearly 35 years. Being an avid sea kayaker and boater, Bill also designs sea kayaks, canoes, and other small boats. Bill teaches woodworking and boatbuilding in his own shop, at the WoodenBoat School and in other venues across the United States. Bill is a Registered Maine Guide, and holds a Wilderness First Responder certification. In addition to his shop classes Bill also leads on water kayaking and sailing classes. The variety of work Bill does: building, designing and teaching both in the shop and on the water, when coupled with his passion for the outdoors, helps to keep his skills rooted in real world experiences. And, it keeps him from getting bored. Bill lives, works, and plays in Maine.
Patching Boy Scout canoes on Maine’s Allagash River in the mid-1960s was Rollin Thurlow’s first successful canoe-building experience—successful, but not very graceful! After graduating from Maine Maritime Academy and a tour in the Navy, Rollin attended the wooden boat building program at Maine’s Washington County Vocational Technical Institute. His interest lead him to collaborate with Jerry Stelmok to start their own wooden canoe building company. While wooden canoes have had a long history, Rollin and Jerry discovered that there was precious little written about the actual how-to construction of the canoes. The canoe company became a real reinventing-the-wheel type of project—long on desire but short on capital and business skills, leading to the demise of the original company. But it was not long before with renewed interest and skills, Rollin started his own company, the Northwoods Canoe Company. Co-authoring with Jerry the book the Wood and Canvas Canoe ensured that the how-to and historic information they had collected would become available to the public at large. Since its publication in 1987, it has become the bible for wood-and-canvas canoe building.
Rollin has taught canoe building and restoration at a variety of locations throughout the U.S. and at WoodenBoat School since the late 1980s. Building a variety of his own designs plus historic reproductions, Rollin’s shop in the small town of Atkinson, Maine, the Northwoods Canoe Company, has become known as one of the premier wooden canoe shops for both restoration and new wooden canoes.
Descended from grandparents who logged over 100,000 nautical miles, Hans Vierthaler has spent over 25 years sailing the coast of Maine. His love affair with boats started when he spent six years working for a sailboat rental company in Deer Isle, Maine, where he took care of a small fleet and taught sailing to vacationing summer residents. He then became interested in larger vessels and crewed on the schooners NATHANIEL BOWDITCH, AMERICAN EAGLE, BILL OF RIGHTS, and NEW WAY, as well as other, smaller boats. Fifteen years ago he joined the crew at Brooklin Boat Yard as a rigger and carpenter, and in 1992 Hans earned his 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard license. In 1994 he fulfilled a longheld dream and purchased the John Alden ketch ABIGAIL. After many wonderful years sailing the coast and teaching aboard ABIGAIL, he sold her in 2016. Hans bought ACTRESS, a 75′ brigantine, in 2017 and taught aboard this vessel for two years before selling her in 2019. He has enjoyed teaching at WoodenBoat School for 23 years.
A New Jersey native, Beth Varkala’s formal studies include a BFA from SUNY College at Purchase. Her roots in teaching date back to a 15-year career as an art teacher in Montclair, New Jersey, where she received honors, including Teacher of the Year. She is currently teaching workshops and private instruction as well as extensive commission work. As an instructor, Beth strives to instill confidence in every student she comes across. Since her retirement from teaching, Beth has been devoted full-time to her passion for painting. She has received numerous awards for her artwork including Best in Portrait/Figure Category in the Pastel Society of New Jersey 11th Anniversary Members Exhibition. Beth has been juried into numerous national exhibits including The Degas Pastel Society’s 19th Biennial Membership Exhibition, Pastels Only Exhibit in Saco, Maine, and the Adirondack National Pastel Exhibition. Beth primarily paints with pastels, enjoying the immediacy of the medium. Her travels throughout New England are the inspirations for many of her paintings. She concentrates mainly in landscape, seascapes and figurative works. Beth is an associate member of the Pastel Society of America and a signature member of The Pastel Society of New Jersey.
Born in North Tonawanda, New York, Mark Whitcomb has been a lifelong woodworker. He started in carpentry and eventually gravitated toward milling and cabinetry. Mark worked for the Buffalo Board of Education for 14 years as the district’s cabinetmaker and focused on custom cabinets, furniture, and repairs. While living and working in Buffalo, Mark met Todd Parmington, the owner of Vintage Canoe Works, a company that builds and restores vintage canoes and Adirondack guideboats. Intrigued by the shape and details of boats, Mark took classes here at WoodenBoat School with Geoff Burke and Greg Rössel to become more familiar with traditional wooden boat construction and design. Returning home, he soon joined the crew at Vintage Canoe Works. These days, Mark is a self-employed woodworker and furniture maker and continues to subcontract work for the canoe company. When not making wood shavings, Mark also enjoys gardening, camping, canoeing, fishing, and cycling.
Douglas E. Wilson has been a metalsmith since 1973, operating his forge on Little Deer Isle, Maine, since 1981. He produces primarily commissioned work, functional, architectural and sculptural; contemporary designs deeply rooted in traditional process and joinery. Doug has demonstrated and taught basic through advanced forging, drawing and design workshops, and how to make proposals to clients and client relations for more than 30 years throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has been a featured artist at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine; Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina; Peters Valley, New Jersey; Campbell Folk School in North Carolina; numerous ABANA chapter events and national conferences. Doug’s work is included in numerous national exhibitions and publications including The Contemporary Blacksmith, Fireplace Accessories, Anvil’s Ring, and Metalsmith Magazine. Recent exhibitions include “Iron: Forged, Tempered, & Quenched” at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; and “Iron 2010” at the National Ornamental Metals Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
Anna Yoors grew up in Massachusetts in a cozy coastal town where the ocean held allure, adventure and the ultimate beauty of nature. As a child, sailing wasn’t part of her life, but it only took one trip as a college student with SEA Semester and she was hooked! Since that very first sailing trip, Anna keeps returning to boats and finding ways to combine teaching and sailing. She has worked for several tall ships including CORWITH CRAMER, SEAWARD, ROSEWAY, and ADVENTURESS as chief mate. Anna has also worked for Outward Bound and is actively involved with Atlantic Challenge as an assistant trainer for the upcoming summer competition in St. Petersburg, Russia. She holds a 100-ton Masters and 200-ton Mates license as well as a Wilderness First Responder.
After spending most of her childhood in Texas and answering a simple question, "If you could do anything, what would you do?" with the reply "Something with art," LIBBY SCHRUM moved to Maine to learn how to build fine furniture, enjoy living in a place with all four seasons, and find work that didn’t involve wearing pantyhose or talking on the phone all day. Over the last 20 years, she has worked as a self-employed furniture maker, taught woodworking to other curious individuals both in school settings and one-on-one in her studio in Camden, built interiors for high-end yachts, worked in a cabinetmaking shop, and earned an MFA in furniture making. When she’s not designing and making or teaching furniture, Libby can usually be found spending weekends up at camp or trying to stay upright on her mountain bike. She is newly obsessed with fishing, which is a great excuse to get out on the water in a canoe or kayak, if an excuse was ever needed.
John Staub’s career in the maritime trades began as a child, cruising aboard his grandfather’s fishing boat. He spent weekends handing his grandfather wrenches, planting the seed of what would become a life surrounded by boats. John stayed close to salt water in the early years, growing up on a surfboard in Ocean City, Maryland, and sailing around the world compliments of the Marine Corps. This was followed by a 16-year interval in restaurant management. In 2013, John moved to Annapolis to finish what his grandfather started—building a career as a boatbuilder and spending more time with his kids. After devoting the first year in Annapolis to refurbishing sailboats, John got the long-awaited phone call to join the Chesapeake Light Craft team. John has been a prolific boatbuilder at CLC and currently serves as their CEO.