BUILD A BOAT
Maine’s miles of forest once made Lhe state a premier center lor boatbuilding in the days of sail. While fiberglass and other materials have largely replaced wood, the craft of wooden boatbuilding is not dead. Someboatbuilders still make classic wooden boats, and there are a few schools available to train anyone interested in learning the skill.
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Wooden Boat School in Brooklin offers classes ranging from the simplest basics for beginners to more complicated classes for experienced builders. There are a number of options available for students to work on, from small models to dories. Open nearly forty years, the school’s courses are available from |une through September and include techniques for restoring wooden boats as well.
The Apprenticeship in Rockland is a nonprofit school that offers an intensive two year appren ticeship program to teach all aspects of wooden boatbuilding, a shorter, twelve week course focused on building a 12 foot boat, and an Extended/Advanced Intensive Program for stu dents w ho have some experience.
Sailing classes are an important part of the Apprenticeshop’s mission and are offered during spring, summer, and fall in Rockland Harbor. Various short courses and workshops are offered throughout the vear in areas such as kayak construction or half hull model building. The school also partners with the local high school’s Fisherman’s Academy, and offers a girls only workshop led bv a woman instructor.
The Boat School, the oldest boatbuilding program in the country, evolved from a local vo tech institute in Eastport to a community college and is now becoming a public/private educational center.
The school offers wooden boatbuilding courses as well as classes in composite boatbuilding, mechanics, rigging, boat repair and res loration, and more. It’s a more industry driven curriculum, where students can earn certification as a composites technician.
At the other end of the coast. The Landing School in Rennebunk offers wooden boatbuilding, composite boatbuilding, yacht design, and courses in marine systems. Like the Boat School, The Landing School is career oriented, with courses leading to diplomas or degrees, but also offers short summer courses, including “boot camps” on particular topics and a captains course. Students range from high school graduates to adults seeking career changes.
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