The greatest builders are also confident mariners, and the greatest sailors can fix their craft at sea. Having the opportunity not only to build but also to sail traditional boats is one of the many components that sets The Apprenticeshop apart from other boatbuilding schools.


On-The-Water Activities

One dedicated morning or afternoon each week is devoted to seamanship. Apprentices, 12-week intensives and instructors break from boatbuilding projects to participate in seamanship activities with our Seamanship Director. From May through October, apprentices and instructors get out on the water in our fleet of traditional and modern vessels. Formal and informal training occurs throughout the season as first-year students learn sailing basics while the second-years refine their skills. The sailing season includes at least one multi-dayexpedition along with other opportunities to get out on the water. Local racing clubs are always looking for willing crew, and there are occasional offshore sailing opportunities delivering vessels along the northeast coast.

The Apprenticeshop is home to a small boat livery: we have a collection of Shop-built sail and row boats that we rent to members of our community. This fleet of vessels is available to our apprentices and intensives if and when users are properly checked out.

During winter months, seamanship comes indoors: apprentices learn boat handling, sail theory, marlinespike seamanship, navigation, knots, and more.  Apprentices also tour midcoast boat yards, visit sail makers, maritime museums, makers of musical instruments, traditional tool enthusiasts, and more. Local boat builders and crafts people give demonstrations at the Shop on a variety of topics such as sharpening and log hewing, as well as other offsite training in skills such as wood turning and blacksmithing.