Open House at The Apprenticeshop!

By The Apprenticeshop | Feb 18, 2014

The Apprenticeshop, a school for traditional boatbuilding and seamanship in Rockland, Maine, is opening its doors to prospective students and the local community on Saturday, March 1, from 10am to 2pm. Hands-on workshops, tours, discussions and a Q&A will highlight The Apprenticeshop’s 9-month CORE and ADVANCED training programs, as well as its 12-week INTENSIVE course.

Since 1972, The Apprenticeshop has been dedicated to inspiring personal growth through boatbuilding craftsmanship, community and traditions of the sea. A post-secondary educational institution, the school utilizes the experiential education model of educator Kurt Hahn, founder of Outward Bound. The boatbuilding curriculum fosters "learning-by-doing".

One of the catalysts for the revival of the wooden boatbuilding industry in the early 70s, today The Apprenticeshop is an integral part of the Rockland, community, a seaside town with a thriving working waterfront.

During the Open House, there will be ongoing demonstrations of steam bending, making traditional wooden mast hoops, and wooden toboggan building. Throughout the day, shop tours will be provided by instructors, apprentices and staff members.

Current apprentices are busy building two John Atkin Nina sailing dinghies and a Herreshoff Columbia skiff. The Atkin dinghies are small craft suitable for rowing or sailing, and were designed in the late 1940s. The Columbia skiff is a classic, designed by Nathanael Herreshoff in 1899 as a tender for his larger, 131 foot, America's Cup contender Columbia, built for the New York Yacht club. Both these historic designs are being traditionally built here in our shop. Frames have been steam bent, and the sides planked in the same way they would have been in the shops where the designs originated.

The Apprenticeshop is currently accepting applications for its three major programs: CORE, ADVANCED, and INTENSIVE.

CORE: Concepts of Wooden Boatbuilding, a 9-month course, is a solid foundation in the craft. It is rigorous and designed for students new to boatbuilding. Students come away with the skills necessary for an entry level position in a wooden boatbuilding shop or yard.

A second 9-month course, ADVANCED: New Construction and Restoration, is designed to build on the skills gained in the CORE program. Students become apprentices on commissioned boats or restorations and work in tandem with a master builder.

INTENSIVE: Traditional Boatbuilding, is a 12-week, full submersion into boatbuilding and is a largely self-directed program. Each student chooses from a selection of three boats, a Susan skiff, a Nina sailing dinghy or a sea kayak, then works under the guidance of Ashop instructors. At the completion of the program the community celebrates with a boat launch.

For more information please contact The Apprenticeshop at 207-594-1800 or email  Application for enrollment and further reference information can be found on our website

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