Adult Workshops & Short Programs

Beyond our apprenticeship, intensive program and learn to sail programs, The Apprenticeshop also hosts a series of hands-on workshops available to students age 16 and older.

2014 Adult Registration

Programs in 2014 include:


Finish Like a Pro! Varnishing & Painting Techniques

Session One: Feb 25, 27, March 4 & 6 – Session Two: March 18, 20, 25, 27 -Evenings, 5:30 – 8:00 pm – Instructor: Dan McNaughton – Cost: $125

Do you have varnish on your boat that has lost its luster? Are you tired of your paint jobs looking good from afar, but far from good?  Dan McNaughton is a veteran finisher who will share varnishing basics and useful techniques that the pros use. Topics that will be covered include: stripping of old varnish, surface preparation, and application considerations. McNaughton will teach you a few tricks to have your bright work looking better than ever this summer. Although the class is geared toward applying varnish, many of the concepts also apply to marine enamels and other paints. Students are encouraged to bring their own small boat parts such as small companionway hatches, hatch-boards or tillers on which to practice.


Hand Tool Use and Joinery

Saturday, April 5 -9:00am-4:00pm – Instructor: Andy Glen – Cost: $95

In this workshop you’ll learn basic techniques for using hand planes and chisels safely, including laying-out, marking and cutting basic joints. Bring a working plane and chisel if you have them and any other basic tools you might like to use for making simple joints.


Oar Making

Weekends April 5/6 or May 3/4 – Time: 9:00-4:00 – Instructor: Tim Jacobus – Cost: $195 (plus $60 materials fee)

Learn the basics of patterning, cutting, shaping and finishing a pair of oars, mostly with hand tools, as you craft a useful heirloom. Each participant will take home a finished pair of oars to use for many years to come. Tools and materials supplied.


Tool Sharpening

Saturday, May 3 -  Time: 9:00-4:00 – Instructor: Eric Stockinger – Cost: $95

Learn what sharp really means and discover inexpensive ways to create a simple sharpening system. You’ll try grinding, honing and polishing while bringing back old blades back to life. You’ll touch on sharpening other shop tools such as knives and saws. Bring a chisel or plane blade that needs sharpening, if you have them.



Tuesdays &Thursdays: April 15, 17, 22, 24 – 5:30-8:30 pm – Instructor: Mike Geer – Cost: $125

Lofting is the first step in building a boat from a set of plans: recreating those plans in full size. The process corrects any errors in the offsets, and readies the builder to create molds and patterns. In this course of 4 evening sessions, Geer will teach you to read tables of offsets, use molds and patterns, and develop lines as you move toward a deeper understanding of how to translate plans in multiple perspectives.


Navigate and Sail Course

Tuesdays & Thursdays, April 15, 17, 22, 6:00 – 8:00pm – continuing through April 24, 29 & May 1, 5:00 – 8:00 pm – Instructors: John Alexander, Lew McGregor – Cost: $300 plus $50 materials fee*

Explore sailing and navigation, safety, and related nautical knowledge. You’ll focus on learning navigation, sail theory, boat parts, safety and related topics in the first three indoor class sessions, including working with charts, compass, parallel rules, dividers, and GPS.  In the next three class sessions, you’ll put your new skills into practice by rigging, sailing, steering, and navigating a 25’ keelboat around Rockland Harbor.  Our instructors are life-long sailors with a passion for teaching and sharing the joy of sailing with others. They are skilled at customizing classes to meet student’s individual goals.  Our small 4 person class size means everyone gets the practice and attention they need

*Materials include dividers, parallel rulers, and Rockland Harbor nautical chart number #13307. (Or bring your own)


Spring Sailing Lessons

Mondays & Wednesdays: June 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, or – Tuesdays & Thursdays: June 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19 – 4:00 – 7:00 pm – Instructors: John Alexander, Lew McGregor – Cost: $400

Don’t wait for summer – take sailing lessons this spring!  RCS offers fun, confidence-building sailing classes on keelboats starting early June.  Students “learn by doing” on 20-25 foot keelboats and day sailors.  Instructors teach you to rig, sail, steer, and maneuver the boat while sailing around Rockland’s beautiful harbor.  You learn firsthand about weather, tides, navigation, and safety.  Our goal is helping students become competent and comfortable sailors.  Our style is like learning to sail with a good friend.  Our instructors are life-long sailors with a passion for teaching and sharing the joy of sailing with others. They are skilled at customizing the classes to meet student’s individual goals.  And our small 4 person class size means everyone gets the practice and attention they need. Choose Mon/Weds or Tues/Thurs.


Summer Sailing Lessons

Over 12 sessions starting June 28, last session starts August 12 – Choose from Mon/Wed; Tues/Thurs evening classes or Weekend-long classes – All classes meet 4:00 – 7:00 pm – Instructors: Rockland Community Sailing staff – Cost:$300

Spend your summer evenings on Rockland Harbor learning to sail with our experienced staff.  Summer sessions are very similar to above “Spring Sailing,” with the difference of 12 total hours of instruction.  These very popular lessons help you get comfortable and competent on the water in our terrific Colgate 26 and other keelboats in our fleet.


Half Hull Model Making

Tuesdays & Thursdays, July 22, 24, 29, 31 – 5:30- 8:30 pm – Instructor: Rob Eddy – Cost: $295

Renowned model boatbuilder Rob Eddy of Camden leads this program to create half hull models of the Leonard whaleboat. The Leonard is the full scale whaleboat recently replicated by The Apprenticeshop for the Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport. You’ll gain a deep appreciation of hull design in the process of creating this half hull, and have a piece of maritime art to take home. Strengthen your understanding of design and craftsmanship with a world-class model maker. Workshop spans four evenings.


Keelboat Racing

Class 1 – July 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22 – Class 2 – July 24, 29, 31, Aug 5, 7, 12 – 4:00 – 7:00 pm – Instructors: Rockland Community Sailing staff  – Cost: $400

If you’ve always wanted to race, but felt unsure, this class will build your confidence and knowledge. You will learn the starts, courses, maneuvers, sail trim, strategy, tactics and get comfortable with racing.  Learn and practice race skills Thursday evenings, then participate in the Tuesday evening race series of Rockland Yacht Club. Each Tuesday after class you’ll join the RYC post-race BBQ, meet other racers, and discuss racing highlights. The class learns on a Colgate 26 – the premier sailing instruction keelboat noted for ease of handling, large roomy cockpit, and high performance.  Class size limited to 3.

9 Day Boatbuilding Course

Saturday, July 12 through Sunday, July 20  – Daily, 8:00 am– 5:00 pm – Instructor: Bert Van Baar – Cost: $1095

If you attend boat shows, have a subscription on WoodenBoat magazine, like boating and visits to old harbor towns; if you travel the internet to boatsites, builders and blogs; if, in your mind you have already picked the boat you would like to build (a gorgeous slender lapstrake Whitehall); then this is the course for you and this is the summer to get it done!

For the first time, The Apprenticeshop is offering a 9-day course in boatbuilding. In a small group with a Dutch instructor who has led similar courses dozens of times, you’ll build that Whitehall and maybe even take it home: it will be raffled among the students and taken home for material costs by the winner. We’ll build a 14′ Catherine Whitehall – a lapstrake design.


Fall Sailing Lessons

Mondays & Wednesdays, September 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, or – Tuesdays & Thursdays, September 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25 – 4:00 – 7:00 pm – Instructors: Rockland Community Sailing staff – Cost: $400

As the bulk of summer tourism dies down, the crisp breezes of September are a breathtaking time to get onto Rockland Harbor for sailing.  Fall sessions are very similar to above “Spring Sailing,” with 18 total hours of instruction.  Six classes on the water introduce you to a variety of sailing conditions to help you get comfortable and competent on the water in our Colgate 26 and other keelboats in our fleet.


Marlinspike Seamanship

Saturday, November 1 – 9:00am-4:00pm – Instructor: Eric Stockinger – Cost: $95

Do you get frustrated trying to tie fancy knots from a book? Have you forgotten how to make that Turk’s head bracelet you wore every summer as a kid? Can’t find decent rope to work with anymore? This workshop will help you learn the basics of decorative knot work, along with some suggestions on where to find tools and materials. We’ll go over the fundamentals such as wall and crown knotting, coverings, mats and even a Turk’s head. Participants will go home with several small items completed that day, along with some skills and maybe the courage to try more complicated projects.

Toboggan Building

Weekends, November 1-2, December 6-7, or January 3-4 2015 – 9:00am – 4:00pm – Instructors: Apprenticeshop staff – Cost: $299/team plus $75 materials fee

Try your hand at bending, sanding, finishing and fastening a 2-4 person toboggan. Suitable for racing or casual recreation, we will build according to the specs for the annual U.S. National Toboggan Championship held annually in February at the Camden Snow Bowl. All tools and materials provided, Limited to 6 teams of up to 4 persons each. Great for families, youth groups and those preparing for the race.