Most classes at WoodenBoat School are either process oriented or product oriented. If you’re going to learn the skills and processes of boatbuilding, it’s unlikely that you’ll finish complete boats. Whereas if the goal is to complete a boat, you’re not likely to learn all the skills of starting from scratch. This course is different. We do both. It’s intense but a lot of fun.
We start with a set of numbers that are not quite correct. We loft the entire boat, correcting and idealizing as we go, making this boat our own.
Whereas most classes meet briefly for introductions only on Sunday evening, mean old Brad puts you to work. Let’s start lofting.
Okay, not the whole boat the first night, but enough to get the brain rolling in the right direction. Then we learn how to build all the parts, down to the pencil line in accuracy. With the lines of the boat defined to eye, we expand the patterns for the ribs, transom, and bowpost. Then we build them right on the drawings.
Meanwhile we grind bevels on sheets of plywood to glue them into longer sheets.
B y Tuesday afternoon we have enough parts to assemble the first of two hulls.
Meanwhile we have cut all the chines and gunwales and chucked them in the steam box. At the end of the day we clamp them all to the hull.
On Wednesday a second hull is born and we begin installing bottoms.
Right-side up now, we bolt on the gunwales.
This gang knows how to rock things. Thursday evening after dinner we prime the hulls.
A visit to the moonlit waterfront to clear our brains:
On Friday we do a lot of interior work. One boat gets traditional seats, flydeck, and floors. But since many in our class are interested in whitewater boats, we do a hatch in the bow of boat two.
And another night shift after the Friday night lobster bake.
Most classes end Friday evening, but this one is a six-day course. Mid-morning we work on a pile of details, then pause for the big event–the drawing. Two lucky students will get to take a boat home for the cost of materials. Josh and Augustus win. So cool! We finish up all we can before lunch, which is just about everything. Then we head down to the waterfront. Woohoo!
Josh and Augustus toast their dories.
A few after launch beers.
And away they go. Josh is taking his to Texas, and helping get Augustus’s toward its destination in Montana.