WoodenBoat School Staff
Our staff members generally hail from all over the country and from many walks of life. Many of them are seasoned veterans of the joys and travails of boats, boating, and boatbuilding, while others are warm, friendly faces doing their very best to make your stay with us a pleasant, comfortable one. From the School Director to our energetic kitchen, waterfront, shop, and office staff, each member possesses a strong commitment to a first-class program and the creation of a positive, safe environment for students and visitors alike. Above all, they enjoy sharing this “little piece of paradise” with all who stop by.
The folks who administer WoodenBoat School believe that each student’s experience is of the utmost importance. From your very first communication with the School office to the completion of your course(s), they will work hard at meeting your needs and expectations.
RICH HILSINGER first arrived at WoodenBoat School as a student back in 1983, and he’s been in Brooklin ever since. Rich managed the School shop for seven years, working under former directors Peter Anderheggen and Ben Ellison. He also taught courses in kayak and pram construction, experiences that he cherishes to this day. Woodworking became a part of his life after attending college in Pennsylvania, and he’s dabbled in everything from house carpentry to restaurant and bar renovation, barn restoration, and cabinetry. The “boat bug” bit while Rich wintered in the Caribbean in the 1970s, and, obviously, he’s still hooked! After sailing for two years with the four-masted bark SEA CLOUD as ship’s carpenter, he assisted on yacht deliveries; did boat repair; worked at two of Maine’s premier boatyards, North End Shipyard in Rockland and Brooklin Boat Yard; and purchased his own Crocker pocket cruiser, MARTHA. Rich stepped into the position of School Director in 1990 and has enjoyed bringing insight, energy, and full-time dedication to WoodenBoat School. When he is not involved with work at the School, he enjoys hanging out with family and friends, gardening, sailing, skiing, hosting a weekly music program on WERU-FM Community Radio, and cheering for the Philadelphia Phillies.
KIM PATTEN continues as Business Manager for her fifteenth year. Prior to joining WoodenBoat School, Kim spent five years as part of the WoodenBoat Store “team.” Originally from New York, she has spent every summer of her life in Maine, before making the move permanently after college. While summering in Maine, she spent her days sailing on Penobscot Bay. Kim and her husband Marvin keep busy working on their home and raising their daughter Riley. She enjoys the outdoors, sailing, skiing, and spending time with family and friends.