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. In the fall of 2011 he started his own business, NB Woodworking, specializing in yacht joinery, custom cabinetry and fine woodworking.
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.
At 15 JOHN BROOKS joined his grandparents and other family members on a two-year sailing trip from the Pacific Northwest to South Africa. In college he studied engineering and journalism, then he went to work building boats, took a boat design course, and built a Chesapeake Bay skipjack for himself. In the 1980s, John moved to Maine with boat in tow, and worked for a number of Mount Desert Island boatyards plus a keyboard maker, a cabinetmaker, and a custom furniture builder; he also designed and built his first glued-lapstrake boat, a 15′ fast pulling boat. In 1992 he and his wife, Ruth Ann Hill, started their own business designing and building glued-lapstrake boats, and together they wrote How to Build Glued-Lapstrake Wooden Boats, published by WoodenBoat Books in 2004. After moving to Brooklin in 2003, John continued designing boats and developing plans while also taking advantage of an opportunity to work at Doug Hylan’s shop, Brooklin Boat Yard, and Brion Rieff Boatbuilder as a master carpenter. For over 30 years, John has taught classes at WoodenBoat School, College of the Atlantic, Brooklin School, and George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill. John and his family live in Blue Hill, Maine.
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).
BILL CAVE spent 28 years as a firefighter in Washington, D.C. An avid sailor and small boat enthusiast, he’s also worked as a mate on a schooner. Bill built his first boat in a WoodenBoat School class. The Chesapeake Light Craft staff recognized his talent and hired him, along with his son, Matt, for good measure. As Chesapeake Light Craft’s primary staff boatbuilder, Bill has built dozens of boats of all sizes and taught many boatbuilding classes on his own. He lives in Bryantown, Maryland and when not building boats for a living, he builds them as a hobby.
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.
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.
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. Tracy has worked on the WoodenBoat School waterfront for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Though MATT ENTWISTLE grew up in New England, he’s worked on both coasts, as well as among the magnificent ranges and drainages that divide them. During his formative years, he worked on marina docks and as a farm laborer where early on he saw the value of learning from the salty and the skilled. With passion for exploration and a desire to learn new trades, Matt began expanding his vocations — from sitting for his U.S. Captain’s license to serving in AmeriCorps and working on several wildfire and trail crews. Eventually, his yearning to learn and to travel drove him to pack up and head west for work in Yellowstone National Park where he combined his love for the outdoors with working with wood and teaching. Leading backcountry crews and teaching wilderness ethics and resource management proved to be extremely gratifying and was the catalyst for other opportunities to work in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Colorado. When not employed by a nonprofit or one of the federal agencies, Matt was as likely to be guiding wilderness expeditions on the Yukon, fly-fishing in the San Juans, dogsledding or traveling to Central America in search of waves. Eventually, he returned East where he joined Grain Surfboards to manage East Coast board-building workshops, teaching the finer points of board-building here in Maine, and running workshops on the road.
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 is an experienced sailing instructor and these days enjoys being out under sail on her Concordia yawl MISTY.
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.
HAVILAH HAWKINS, a second-generation captain, was raised in the windjammer business on the schooners STEPHEN TABER, ALICE WENTWORTH, and MARY DAY, which was designed by his father, Capt. Havilah Hawkins, Sr. Havilah, also a fourth-generation boatbuilder on his mother’s side, designed and built his 50′ gaff-headed sloop VELA, with help from the Wooden Boat Co. in Rockport, Maine. He has been running a day-sailing business out of Martha’s Vineyard for the past 11 years. He presently runs, in conjunction with Windward Passage, a program dedicated to giving kids a chance to experience the Maine coast under sail. Havilah has had a 100-ton auxiliary sail license for carrying passengers for 30 years.
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.
AMY HOSA hails from San Francisco. She is self-employed as an illustrator and graphic designer (www.amyhosa.com) and was also the exhibit designer for the Maritime Museum at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park for 14 years. 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 when she volunteered in the Boat Shop on Hyde Street Pier to restore old boats and learned to sail. She began filling travel sketchbooks with quick studies of boats in action on annual small-craft sailing and rowing excursions across San Francisco Bay into The Delta. Her partner’s current project is a 30′ Angelman ketch with new rigging and sails.
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.
MARK KAUFMAN has been fascinated with boats and boatbuilding since his childhood days of growing up boating with his family on Pennsylvania’s Allegheny River. As a teenager, he built his first boats, a wood-and-canvas Trailcraft canoe and a Minimost hydroplane. Later, he acquired a passion for flying and home-built aircraft, and built a two-seat, high-performance composite aircraft. After college, Mark became interested in aircraft restoration and restored an award-winning “tube-and-fabric” 1948 Piper Vagabond aircraft. He holds instrument, commercial, and flight instructor ratings. During the last 14 years he has become an avid bicyclist and kayaker, and builds his own custom fillet-brazed bicycle frames and skin-on-frame kayaks. Mark is a technology educator at Garden Spot High School in New Holland, Pennsylvania, teaching beginner and advanced woodworking, as well as computer-aided drafting and prototyping. Many of his advanced woodworking students have built skin-on-frame canoes, stitch-and-glue kayaks, wood-strip canoes, and skin-on-frame Aleutian and Greenland-style kayaks in addition to their regular course work. He also teaches a number of adult education classes on skin-on-frame kayak construction. Mark always looks forward to the classes he teaches at WoodenBoat School.
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 the past thirty years working on the Space Shuttle program. George grew up sailing and surfing and began building boats after visiting the WoodenBoat School during a Maine vacation a decade ago. After building a few kayaks on his own and dazzling us with his talent, George became a “beta” builder for Chesapeake Light Craft and has assembled the prototypes of many new designs 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. When he’s not sailing, he continues to build show-quality wooden boats and furniture for friends and family but is quick to add that whether the finished product is a work boat or a fine piece of furniture, the most important thing is the sense of accomplishment in having built it.
MIKE LaVECCHIA is the founder and principal owner of Grain Surfboards, based in southern Maine. He discovered snowboarding when the sport was in its infancy, and moved to Vermont to work for Burton Snowboards. After 12 years, doing everything from building boards to managing a team of the most respected riders in the industry, Mike shifted gears and began to follow his other passion. He sat for his U.S. Coast Guard license, and began operating a commercial sailing vessel on Lake Champlain. In 2001, with his knowledge of vessel operations, and years of experience working on wooden boats, Mike jumped at the opportunity to manage the construction of the 88′ schooner LOIS McCLURE at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. In 2005 Mike moved to York, Maine, where he got hooked on surfing. With a clear head and a fresh start, Mike began tinkering with surfboard shapes, design, and construction. By adapting much of what he knew and loved about wooden boats to building wooden surfboards, he created the foundations of a unique construction methodology. Twelve years later, Mike and the crew at Grain Surfboards have refined those techniques into a technically sophisticated, lightweight, hollow wood surfboard whose construction is closer to a very small boat project than it is to a surfboard. Thousands of people from all around the world have built their own surfboards in Grain Workshops and using Grain’s HomeGrown Surfboard kits.
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.
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.
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.
Landlocked in the Midwest, THOM McLAUGHLIN grew up working on farms and having the cycles of nature deeply rooted under his skin. After finishing a graduate degree in visual arts (sculpture), he found himself surrounded by water as an art professor at the University of South Florida. In 1993, while searching for an art form that could more directly inspire an awe of nature, he stumbled onto pond yachts. Since then he has written articles on, investigated the history of, and made many vintage pond yachts. He is currently the Southeast regional vice-president of the Vintage Model Yacht Group. In the last seven Vintage Marblehead National Regattas boats of Thom’s design, and their construction initiated in courses at WoodenBoat School, had third or better placing in final standings. In the 2011 National Regatta he placed First Overall in class and also received the Craftsmanship Award.
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 19 years, the last 15 running her business Magma Metalworks, Inc., and the last year adding a line of personal work in small metal housewares and woodworking tools. Along with teaching at WoodenBoat School 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. She and her husband Paul finally made the move from Boston to the coast of Maine in 2014, and are living and working in the midcoast village of Waldoboro.
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.
From an early age, JANE PETERSON has been interested in photography. After years of using 35mm film, she has gone digital SLR and has not looked back. Her interests are nature and macro photography, but she has been venturing into documentary work as well. Growing up in Maine, Jane has a strong affinity for the coast and a love of the soul of Maine and her people. Photography is a way of capturing moments of wonder for her. She has studied photography with Neal Parent, Rick Sammon, Jon Strout, and others. Her work has been exhibited locally as well as in WoodenBoat magazine.
STEVE ROGERS has loved boats and water all his life. Not only does he paint boats, he builds them as well in ship model form. He is a nationally recognized ship model builder, has written five books on the subject, and won a certificate of commendation at the 2000 Modelbuilders Competition at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia. Steve is also a signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists. Although model building and fine art would seem unrelated, each supports and enhances the other. Understanding construction methods, thinking in three dimensions, and working from blueprints, reference books, and photographs allows Steve to visualize the boats and ships that become the subjects of his paintings. He works primarily in acrylics and paints traditional working craft. These are not pampered fiberglass yachts, but hard-bitten and overworked oystermen, crabbers, and menhaden steamers. His paintings capture the toughness and durability of everyday working boats, and the sheer beauty and stark terror of the weather and waters they work in. Steve is the recipient of the 2005 Established Artist Fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts. He is represented by the Peninsula Gallery in Lewes, Delaware, and the Art of the Sea Gallery in South Thomaston, Maine. Although most of his models are in the hands of private collectors, several pieces are in local museums, including the St. Clements Island Potomac River Museum and the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum.
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.
A canoeist since childhood, HILARY RUSSELL began building his own boats in 1997. After taking a 1998 WoodenBoat School course on traditional baidarka construction, Hilary decided to use the Inuit lashing techniques in his double-paddle canoes. He established the Berkshire Boat Building School (www.berkshireboatbuildingschool.org) in 2002, and has since taught classes in skin-on-frame canoe, kayak, and rowing craft construction in his own shop and at various maritime museums in New York and New England. Over the years, he has perfected the use of polyester, nylon, and natural skins over northern white cedar and spruce frames to produce light, durable, beautiful vessels. The genius of Platt Monfort’s Geodesic boats juxtaposed with the shallow, kayak-form canoes of the far north were important influences on Hilary’s designs. He has also used willow and red osier dogwood for ribs, stringers, and diagonal members that he calls “waves.” Mixing Inuit, Native American, Celtic, and modern technologies, Hilary has developed craft that are familiar yet original. More recently, he has skinned a canoe with a strong, beautiful rip-stop flax cloth developed in England. He is the author of several articles, including Building the Solo Carry in WoodenBoat Nos. 205 and 206, and published his own book Building Skin-on-Frame Double Paddle Canoes.
MICHAEL SAARI is a master metalsmith, having studied and taught in the U.S. and abroad for 40 years. His restoration and commission work can be seen in many major museums and public parks. Currently, Michael is part of the restoration team for the historic whaleship CHARLES MORGAN at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, where he is replacing and restoring metal ship parts in wrought iron, steel, copper, and bronze, as well as making whalecraft. An experienced sailor, Michael has competed in the Star class and has restored his own 1957 wooden Firefly. His home and studio are in Woodstock, Connecticut. Michael is an adjunct professor of art at Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts.
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.
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.
Despite an education and otherwise promising start in electronics manufacturing in Vermont, WADE SMITH couldn’t ignore the subversive call of the wooden boat in the back of his mind, and so left everything behind to study boatbuilding at the Apprenticeshop in Nobleboro, Maine. Rather than returning to the safety of a 9-to-5, Wade decided to follow his passion and continues to this day as a boatbuilder and boatbuilding instructor. Wade worked for Barry Thomas in the boatshop at Mystic Seaport, researching, documenting, and replicating historic watercraft from the museum’s collection, and learning every word of John Gardner’s famed Boatbuilding for Amateurs course. After Barry’s retirement, Wade continued on as the Director of the John Gardner Boat Shop for 11 years, during which time he helped to create, and subsequently oversaw, an exponential increase in boatbuilding-related courses, and assisted in setting up new boatbuilding programs from Maine to Honduras. After 15 years of working primarily as a teacher, Wade wanted to get back to building boats and was invited to join the crew at Taylor and Snediker Boatbuilding in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, whom he considers to be the most insanely multi-talented group of boatbuilders working anywhere today. Since then, he has been teaching boatbuilding for four weeks per year at WoodenBoat School and engaged in high-end commercial boatbuilding the rest of the year.
The love of sailing has kept GRETCHEN SNYDER on or near the water for most of her life. For over 20 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 Kindergarten/First Graders on Martha’s Vineyard.
ERIC STOCKINGER grew up in suburban Detroit, Michigan, and spent summers at a family cottage on Lake Huron when he got bitten by the water bug. He went on to get a degree in freshwater fisheries management from Michigan State University. After college Eric got involved with woodworking as a hobby, building stuff on the side, including several kayaks. He had been aware of The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, Maine, since his freshman year at college, and after jobs in Detroit, San Diego, and Dallas, he packed his bags and headed to Rockland. After completing a two-year apprenticeship at The Apprenticeshop, Eric became 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 to Blue Hill, Maine, and began working at Brooklin Boat Yard where he is currently employed. Eric is a member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers.
JON STROUT grew up on the coast of Maine, specifically Casco Bay. He has always been impressed by the natural beauty of Maine, but the beauty of the coast is most special, as it is constantly changing. For Jon, photography is an avenue to try to capture what he feels and to reflect the beauty and emotions of this pristine environment. Whether it is the power of a coastal storm or the simple beauty of barnacles captured in the light of a sunset, there is always something to be seen. Preferring to work in black and white, Jon is able to reduce an image to its basics of patterns, shapes, lines, and textures. By using these basics and their interplay with light, he searches for the extraordinary in the ordinary scene. Jon enjoys this challenge; it’s a passion. He has studied with well-known photographers Neal Parent, John Sexton, Brenda Tharp, and George DeWolfe among others. His photography has been exhibited throughout Maine, including Bowdoin College.
SAM TEMPLE has family connections to two of Maine’s premier wooden boat building businesses, Rockport Marine and Brooklin Boat Yard. He worked part-time at the Rockport facility from age 11 through college. Sam then spent four years as one of the full-time Brooklin Boat Yard construction crew. He then set out on his own and started Barnyard Boat Shop, building traditional small wooden craft for customers. In 2008, Sam returned to Rockport Marine and has enjoyed leading traditional rebuilds and the construction of new cold-molded yachts working alongside world-class craftsmen. Outside of work, Sam and family spend time on a growing fleet of small boats including, most recently, the Beals Island lobsterboat ROXANNE.
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.
PAUL TROWBRIDGE has painted in watercolor since the early 1970s. He studied fine arts at Principia College, the Museum School of Boston, the University of Maine at Orono, and received a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Memphis. He settled in Maine because of his exposure to the area growing up, its strong visual appeal, and his love of the outdoors and the Downeast way of life. Paul built his home in Sedgwick where he and his wife, Jennifer, maintain a dance and art studio, and from which he takes painting excursions. He worked in animation at the Neworld Studios in South Blue Hill, Maine, participates in a figure drawing group, is a member of the Deer Isle Artists Association, and has taken part in plein air events in Blue Hill and Castine. Paul teaches watercolor at the Deer Isle Art Association and in regular classes during the summer. He has been artist-in-residence at Camp Newfound in Harrison, Maine.
Descended from grandparents who logged over 100,000 nautical miles, HANS VIERTHALER has spent over 20 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, 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. Ten years ago he joined the crew at Brooklin Boat Yard as a rigger and carpenter, and in 1992 he earned his 100-Ton U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s license. In 1994 Hans fulfilled a longheld dream and purchased the John Alden ketch ABIGAIL, and he looks forward to sharing his love of sailing with all those who step aboard.
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.