Build your own wooden boat under expert tuition on one of our boat building courses in our fully-equipped workshop. You'll be part of a group of like-minded builders learning the craft of boatbuilding together.
Our experienced instructors will help you assemble your own boat from start to finish. Most classes are 5½ days – a perfect one-week holiday, with your own boat to take home at the end. All major assembly will be completed, leaving just a few smaller jobs to complete at home, such as fitting hatches, rounding rails and assembling rudders and spars for sailing boats. Painting and varnishing will always be left to complete at home, due to paint drying times.
The schedule for the week-long classes has been refined through experience to make sure everyone has a completed, beautiful boat to take away at the end of the course. You don't need to be skilled at woodwork or fibreglassing, but we encourage you to study the process before arrival – we'll send you the construction manual when you book your place – so that as much as possible of the five days is spent learning practical skills and completing your boat.
Please note that you should not expect perfection in every aspect of the build – that would take weeks or months of very careful work. Remember that almost all boats have a few small mistakes and imperfections that only the builder knows about. Most of them are only noticeable upon very close inspection.
The classes are held at our workshop in the Lake District, where we manufacture the precision-cut kits for our wide range of boat designs as well as building completed boats for those who just want a beautiful wooden boat without building it themselves. There are numerous Bed and Breakfast places and campsites nearby and plenty to see and do in this scenic region.
Please read our Frequently Asked Questions about boat-building courses if you need more information.
Our new boatbuilding classroom is purpose-built and equipped with a complete set of tools for each boat on the course. The classroom is very well insulated and electrically heated to keep it at a steady working temperature, to get the best results from the epoxy. If you arrive expecting to be working in a draughty shed, you'll need to leave all those extra layers of warm clothing at the door.
With a full classroom of half a dozen students, who may all be sanding at the same time, the air in the classroom remains remarkably dust-free. Each sander is attached to a vacuum and an overhead air filter catches any stray dust. We also provide disposable dust masks and coveralls for all our students.
We run these short introductory courses at our workshop for people who haven't used epoxy for wooden boatbuilding before. The classes last about three hours and will introduce you to the techniques of using epoxy safely and effectively, including filleting, laminating, coating and applying fibreglass tape and fabric. Our experienced boat builders will provide expert tuition as you gain hands-on experience of the epoxying techniques used in wooden boat building.