The Apprenticeshop is an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring personal growth through craftsmanship, community, and traditions of the sea.
Inspired by the philosophy of experiential educator Kurt Hahn and founder Lance Lee’s own experiences in education and Outward Bound, The Apprenticeshop began in 1972 within the complex of the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine.
From the beginning, the structure of The Apprenticeshop was built around craftsmanship, seamanship, and community. Craftsmanship developed as apprentices worked alongside the master builder and one another to learn the traditional methods of wooden boatbuilding. Seamanship was practiced as apprentices sailed vessels built by the Shop. And the Shop itself was built and maintained by the apprentice community. The program became a catalyst for the revival of traditional wooden boatbuilding at a time when the craft and the apprentice way of learning was deemedto be extinct.
The Shop moved from Bath to Rockport in 1982. Ten years later, they moved to a historic lumber mill in Nobleboro. The lack of easy access to the water prompted another move in 1995, this time to the Rockland waterfront. In 1999, the Shop moved to its present location in Rockland’s North End.
In the spirit of the first Apprenticeshop, apprentices and staff spent the first four months renovating what was once a livery stable for the lime kilns into the present shop space.
Back on the waterfront, the Shop maintains its original focus on craftsmanship, seamanship, and community. Students are still called apprentices in reference to the master-apprentice educational model the Shop upholds. Apprentices still sail in Shop-built boats, learn traditional methods from instructors and each other, help maintain the facilities, and foster a continuing spirit of community. In addition to our boatbuilding programs, the Shop has grown to house a number of different sailing programs, as well as the Fisherman's Academy program for local youth from Oceanside East.