Nathaniel Wilson has been making sails for nearly 40 years, having gotten his start in the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. It was there that he first encountered a sail loft and found his calling. Since that time, Wilson has built a name for himself in the industry as one of the country’s top engineers of sails. And while his loft is in East Boothbay, his work comes from around the country. Wilson is the craftsman behind the sails of some of the country’s most beloved ships: the U.S.S. Constitution in Boston Harbor with its 42,710 square feet of sail, the Pride of Baltimore II in Baltimore Harbor, with its 10,442 square feet of sail, and, not surprisingly, the Coast Guard’s Eagle, based in New London, with its 21,350 square feet of sail.

On Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m., Wilson will visit The Apprenticeshop with a host of cloth samples to talk about how sails are constructed. He’ll explain how material dictates design, the basics of laying out a sail panel, the various parts of a sail and all of the crafting stages. He will also touch on the history of sail-making, time-honored tools and materials, and a timeline of sail-making hand work.

The lecture is a part of the series Second Thursdays at The Apprenticeshop, sponsored by Eastern Tire and Auto Service and hosted by The Apprenticeshop, a school for traditional boatbuilding and seamanship at 643 Main St., Rockland.

Tickets are $5 at the door and benefit the school’s programs. A tour of current projects in the shop will be available after the lecture. Boats under construction include an 18-foot Buzzard’s Bay sloop, an 11-foot Frank Day row boat, a 12’ Lawley tender, the Apprentice 15 (a double ended, lapstrake sloop designed in house) and four Susan skiffs.

For more information visit or call 594-1800.