- Jane Ahlfeld
- Walter Ansel
- Jon Bardo
- Warren Barker
- Greg Bauer
- Ross Beane
- Kevin Beckwith
- Ann Brayton
- Andrew Breece
- Harry Bryan
- Clint Chase
- Thad Danielson
- Arch Davis
- Brad Dimock
- Eric Dow
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. 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.
ROSS BEANE fell in love with boats and the ocean right here on the coast of Maine as a kid. Now a captain by trade, he spends his time in waters from the Caribbean Windward Islands to Madagascar’s Mozambique Channel but returns whenever he can to his favorite cruising grounds of all, right here in Downeast Maine. Ross is a former Jewell Island caretaker for the Maine Island Trail Association. He was WoodenBoat School’s Assistant Waterfront Manager in 2010 and received numerous accolades from both sailing instructors and students for his teaching style. A constant outdoorsman, a student of wilderness emergency medicine, and a certified “leave no trace” trainer, Ross enjoys sharing his passion for exploring the Maine coast under sail with anyone who will listen.
KEVIN BECKWITH has been sea-kayaking for over a decade, becoming hooked immediately on the sport after his first kayaking tour with a local outfitter. After finding like-minded kayakers, he continued to pursue his passion, advancing his skills and teaching others. Kevin has paddled waters from Maryland to Maine, and Wales, United Kingdom. He is a British Canoeing 5 Star Leader in Sea Kayaking; a UKCC Level 2 Coach; American Canoe Association Level 5 Advanced Open Water Instructor; and a registered Maine Guide. When not sea-kayaking, Kevin is a professional economist and teacher of mathematics. He resides in Beverly, Massachusetts with his wife, daughter, and two crazy Brittanys.
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.
A native of Maine, ANDREW BREECE’s life has always revolved around wooden boats. At age eight, when he should have been practicing spelling or multiplication tables, Andrew was thumbing through the biographies of Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, John Alden, and William Fife. At age 10, Andrew bought his first sailboat, an original Herreshoff 12 ½ that he found tucked away in a barn on Swans Island, and at 12 he was reading WoodenBoat magazines cover-to-cover. Andrew earned his B.A. in economics from Bates College, attended The Landing School for yacht design, and currently holds a USCG 50-ton license. Andrew lives in Blue Hill, Maine, enjoys sailing the New England coast aboard his 35’ Aage Nielsen yawl MAGIC, and is the Publisher of WoodenBoat and Professional BoatBuilder magazines.
HARRY BRYAN built his first boat at age 10, his first boat that floated at age 12, and his first boat with almost no leaks at age 15. After successfully resisting attempts to be formally educated at the University of Vermont, he worked on fishing boats at Fairhaven Marine in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, and on yachts at Concordia Company in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, before moving to New Brunswick, Canada, in 1972. Since that time he has repaired commercial craft and built dories, skiffs, and sailboats form 7′ to 36′. His shop, which relies on a small diesel engine and solar panels for its power, emphasizes a growing commitment to pedal power and hand tools (see WoodenBoat No. 132).
CLINT CHASE is a former geologist, science teacher, meteorologist, and now small boat designer and builder based in Southern 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 is back half-time with Compass Project in their new Biddeford boatshop acting as program coordinator. The rest of the time he dedicates to his mantra “Sneaking up on Perfection”: designing, building, and teaching with small boats. He avidly canoes, rows, and sails and gets his two kids outside and on the water as much as possible.
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.
ARCH DAVIS grew up with boats in his family, in New Zealand during the 1950s. His first boatbuilding job was with Jim Young, starting in 1964, where he learned the basics of cold-molded construction, in addition to working in the design office. Arch’s passion was cruising on the northeast coast of New Zealand’s North Island in a variety of wooden boats. He moved to Maine in 1988 where he continued to work as a boatbuilder in local yards. He also started to design small boats for the backyard boatbuilder. With the success of his Penobscot 14 design, Arch was able to work full-time on design and producing kits. Since then, he has assembled a small collection of boat designs, documenting the process of building several of them on video. Remembering well his own fumblings during his early career, Arch goes to great lengths to make his plans as clear and detailed as possible, in addition to making himself available for advice to builders of all his designs. Nothing gives him more satisfaction than to hear from a builder who may have started out feeling a bit intimidated by the arena of boatbuilding terms and techniques, but who has graduated as the proud owner of a beautiful boat he or she has built. Arch lives in Belfast, Maine, with his wife Amy. His daughter, Grace, is a keen sailor, who put many hours into the building of their own 30′ cruising sloop, GRACE EILEEN.
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.