There are 10 available slots for this program.  They will be filled on a first-come first-served basis in the order that applications are received.  Prior woodworking experience is helpful but not required. Applicants will be notified within a few days of signing up if they have been accepted.

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Life Skills Through Boatbuilding

This is a beginners-level course intended for anyone with a desire to learn the basics of wooden boatbuilding. We will construct  a handsome 12-foot-long rowboat called a Bevin’s Skiff, designed by the Alexandria Seaport Foundation.  This is one of the designs we build in our youth programs.  However, in this adult program we will go into more detail on construction techniques and discuss additional topics beyond those covered with our teens.  We will also make a pair of oars for the boat.

We have all the necessary tools here for you to use, but feel free to bring your own if you prefer. Wear work clothes and closed toe shoes. Prior woodworking experience is helpful but not necessary. Proper tool use and safety will be covered throughout the course. Students will learn to use both traditional hand tools and power tools. Some of the other knowledge / skills we will cover include:

  • Parts of a wooden boat and boatbuilding terminology.
  • Boatbuilding woods and materials
  • Scarfing of boards and plywood panels
  • Use of fasteners and adhesives. 
  • Understanding boat plans
  • Lofting
  • Joinery techniques
  • Fitting of knees, risers, seats, breast hook, and rub rails
  • Oar making

At the end of the course we will hold a drawing for those interested in purchasing the completed boat, with the stipulation that participants agree up front to pay for the cost of materials if you win the boat ( Approx. $800).