Teaching & Class Offerings:

Maine Guide

Introduction to boatbuilding

 

       2015 Class Schedule

Build Your Own Willow or QuickBeam Sea Kayak

Chewonki Boatbuilders Expedition, Building a Willow Kayak

Building Fox

Introduction to Boatbuilding 

Elements of Coastal Kayaking

Building The Mischief Pram

Building a Pygmy Kayaks Pinguino 145 Sea Kayak.

Introduction to Woodworking.

Finishing Out Small Boats

 

 

Detailed class descriptions can be found at the bottom of this page.

 

  Chewonki Boat Builders

 

Introduction To Boatbuilding

 

Intro. to boat building

 

Current Class Offerings

Here are the descriptions for the classes I’ll be teaching in 2015.  It’s a varied offering with 11 building classes plus private guided sea kayaking trips and instruction.   A detailed list of dates and the venues can be found at the top of this page. I'll be offering 2 weeks of boat building instruction in my shop this May and will also be adding a few woodworking and boat building classes this fall.

 

Bill Thomas's shop  a Fox canoe and a Iain Outhredid SkerrieSkiff 15

Building A Boat In My Shop

One of the new offerings this year will be a build your own boat class in my shop. The date for this class is May 18-23.  We will be building Willows, QuickBeams and Fox Canoes. Touch base if you’re interested. As they say, space is limited.

Building the Willow or QuickBeam Sea Kayak:
Build your own sea kayak in a one-week class. Students start with a pre-cut kit containing all the materials needed to build the hard-chined Willow or QuickBeam Sea Kayak design. The construction is stitch-and-glue using Okoume plywood. This is a full-on week with the kayak construction finished at the end of class. Students will still have some work to do when they get home, but the end result will be a lightweight, rugged and beautiful boat.

Chewonki Boatbuilders Expedition

Locate on Montsweag Bay Camp Chewonki has become a true Maine landmark. Chewonki was originally founded as a boy’s camp but over the years the programs offered have expanded to include girl’s camps, coed wilderness trips and winter full semester sessions open to high school students.

One of their most exciting programs, at least to my way of thinking, is their Boatbuilders Expedition.  During this 5 week class young men and women, ages 14-18, will spend about two weeks building their own kayaks. They will then set out to paddle and explore mid-coast Maine in their new boats.

The Willow kayak has been selected as the new ‘Chewonki kayak’ and this will be my 6th year working with the campers to build and outfit the kayaks they will be paddling on their wilderness adventures. I am extremely proud that the Willow was chosen and looking forward to working with the camp staff and the campers again!

Building Fox

Fox is a decked double paddle canoe, a boat intended for protected waters along the coast, for lakes and for all those appealing back waters and creeks you are always driving by and meaning to explore someday.

With an 80” long cockpit,  Fox is a grand boat for hunting, fishing and canoetripping with a dog or young child seated forward of the paddler.

Fox boasts two water-tight compartments for storage and flotation, ample room for a camping kit and a comfortable seatback and caned seat.

She  is 14’7” long with a beam of 30", the finished weight is just over 40 pounds.

We’ll build in the stitch-and-glue method and have the boat assembled at the end of  an enjoyable 6 day class.

Introduction to Boat Building:

No prior boat-building experience is required, simply a desire to learn. If you want to help build a good-looking, double ended boat, explore the theories behind boat construction and learn basic woodworking skills this class is a great way to get started. You will be guided through the step-by-step procedures of taking on and completing a similar project on your own. In this course the students build an Iain Oughtred designed Skerrieskiff 15. The construction method for this appealing boat is “traditional” glued-lap plywood. There will also be discussions in small-craft design, selecting suitable building projects, setting up a shop, and the proper use of hand and power tools.

Building The Mischief Pram:

Mischief is a wonderfully versatile little boat for rowers of all age and she’s a perfect first-time boatbuilding project.  At 7′10″ in length and 48”” in width she’s a stable and predictable craft. The construction is a builder friendly hybrid of glue- and- screw construction and more traditional methods. The building process has been carefully choreographed so that families or individual builders can assemble the boat over two weekends.

Mischief is a proven design; I’ve built her with students and used her in on water classes at the WoodenBoat School.  She’s stable enough for kids to play around in; rows well, though pulling into head seas can be wet work. She tows like a feather and I’ve rowed her ashore with 4 adults and a load of camping gear aboard.  In short she’s as good a tender as I’ve ever used and better then many I’ve tried. Best of all you can build her yourself.

The end result of our 5 day class will be a pretty, practical rowboat suitable enough for younger first-time boaters or old salts.

Mischief Pram

 

Elements of Coastal Kayaking:

Develop your kayaking skills through class time coupled with day and overnight paddles along the coast of Maine. The class will focus on paddling skills as well as equipment and trip planning. We will talk about selecting an appropriate kayak and paddling gear, safety procedures and necessary safety equipment. We will cover transporting kayaks, various paddle strokes, rescue methods and navigation. Students also work at developing a better understanding of weather and sea conditions. During the August class we’ll be spending several nights camping on Maine’s stunning islands. Either week promises a fun filled enlightening experience in a spectacular setting.

Sea kayaking with The  WoodenBoat School

 

Building Willow