Life Skills Through Boatbuilding

Spotlight on Our Fall Semester
​ During the past three months, fourteen young men and women have been working hard to complete two Bevin’s Skiff boats. The boats have been christened and are for the warmer weather to go rowing on the Elizabeth River.

Adult Boatbuilding Program  Began February 15, 2018
TWBW is excited to have started our 2018 adult boatbuilding program. Classes are held each Thursday, 7 to 9 pm, beginning February 15th and concluding June 7, 2018. The class is coming along well. We have an amazing group and will post updates as we progress.


TWBW Expands Its Reach

To bring the benefits of wooden boatbuilding to even more Hampton Roads youth, TWBW is partnering with Isle of Wight County Schools to implement a project-based learning initiative at Smithfield High School and Windsor High School. Students enrolled in SHS's fall semester oceanography course are building two Bevin's Skiff rowboats under the tutelage of TWBW instructors and volunteers. Construction began the first week of October with a planned mid-January completion date. The students will use the boats to collect water samples from the Pagan River as part of their oceanography curriculum. Heather Greer, STEM coordinator for Isle of Wight County Schools is the division's lead for this project. She is a strong advocate of project-based learning: "We've had too much emphasis on test scores and test prep in education. Our students have lost the opportunity to make and create. This project teaches them to use their hands and minds to turn raw materials into something useful and beautiful." The school division plans to duplicate the program at Windsor High School next semester in conjunction with that school's algebra classes.

Currently at TWBW

 TWBW teamed up with the Sail Nauticus Academy again this winter. Twenty-five sailing students converted two rowboats into sailboats. Winter/Spring Semester has started and the kids are building a 14 foot rowboat. It is beginning to take shape well. 


Student Spotlight

​ James and his mom live in a NRHA-managed public housing community. Throughout his life James has been unable to participate in any of the sports and

many of the recreational activities

most kids enjoy due to serious medical

issues.  He must be accompanied by a

nurse or his mother whenever he leaves

the house.  We signed him up for our

Winter/Spring 2017 program. When he

first started, James seemed timid and shy. He was somewhat hesitant to join in the activities and to work with the tools, even after being taught how to safely use them.  He became fatigued easily and often had to sit and rest. As the project progressed, James came out of his shell and became an active participant, working well with the other students and displaying a lot of teamwork. His communication skills improved and his self-confidence increased with every workshop session he attended.  By the end of the program he was no longer hesitant to use any of the tools.  His physical stamina also increased.  His mother often told us how much James loved coming to the workshop and how pleased she was to see the wonderful, positive impact it was having on her son.  We had the pleasure of working with James in our fall 2017 program.



Sunday, May 6th from 1 - 4pm 

910 Ballentine Blvd. Norfolk, VA 23504

(behind the NRHA building)

Come by the shop and help us celebrate our young boatbuilder's accomplishments! There will be boat exhibits, kids' activities, boatbuilding demonstrations, a silent auction and a raffle! 


TWBW's is always looking for adult volunteers to help us. If you would like information on how to get involved, send us a message by clicking here:                            or call us  at (757) 353-9418.


TWBW's programs are open to Hampton Roads youth  ages 12 -18.  If you  would like more information on our programs and how to participate, send us a message by clicking here:                                 or call us at (757) 353-9418.

​​​Get Involved

Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that uses wooden boatbuilding and other nautical-related activities to help at-risk youth develop the life skills that lead to a successful future.