CORE Concepts of Wooden Boatbuilding (Gap year option)

CORE Concepts of Wooden Boatbuilding (Gap year option)

A new program for new boatbuilders, September – May, annually

This nine-month course provides a solid foundation in the craft of wooden boatbuilding and construction. It is designed for students new to boatbuilding and is a rigorous introduction and direct experience of the craft.  Students completing this course should expect to gain the skills necessary for an entry-level position in a wooden boatbuilding shop or yard.

Starting with an expedition on Maine’s world-renowned Penobscot Bay, seamanship is introduced through direct experience in traditionally built open boats. The student quickly learns the dynamics of weather, environment, small craft construction and motion while on the water.

Taking this knowledge and experience into the boatshop, the first months of the course focus on tool use, maintenance, finishing techniques, shop safety and more through the loft-to-launch construction of a flat-bottomed skiff. Students will be exposed to the dynamics of various wood species and how they serve as building materials. They will acquire knowledge of fasteners and adhesives, study elements of design including technical and three-dimensional drawing, and become proficient in common joints encountered in basic yacht joinery.

The second half of the course focuses on wood and composite boat building techniques which are addressed through building a sea kayak or stand-up paddleboard.  Skills acquired will include scarfing, spiling, and laminating, construction of simple molds, faring curved surfaces, choosing finishes to enhance hull performance, and outfitting the craft.


Active participants in The Apprenticeshop community, students are responsible for the care and maintenance of the shop and may assist in managing the fleet of traditional boats. During the boating season, students have weekly opportunities to hone their seamanship skills through day sails and local racing.

Course Fee: $18,000

Download application packet here: Apprentice Application For more information email,