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Boat Building & Composites: Skills Workshop

July 10, 2022 , 12:00 am August 13, 2022 , 11:59 pm

$1 – $900 Pay-What-You-Can Registration

Do you want to learn boat building skills from the masters? Join us in the boat shop this summer for a 5-week skills workshop led by two expert boat builders and learn the essential traditional wood and composite boat construction skills needed for a wide range of small boat projects.

You’ll gain valuable hands-on experience, knowledge, and confidence needed to tackle new or repair projects of your own. Over the course of 5 weeks you will also help our boat shop craft lightweight sailing dinghies to add to the Museum’s fleet for use by the public and education programs. We will be building the Split Rock Sailing Dinghy, a lightweight composite sail boat designed by Jim Donovan.

In this workshop, you will learn traditional wooden boat construction skills including wood joinery, hand tool usage, and plywood panels before learning modern composite techniques for boats. Composites we’ll learn about in this workshop include carbon fiber, fiberglass, epoxy resins, and molds. As the finale to this workshop, we will launch and test out the new fleet of small sail boats in the Museum’s harbor.


Jim Donovan is a veteran composite yacht designer and builder with over 30 years’ experience. Jim designed the sailing dinghies we will be building in this workshop.

Charlie Beyer is a woodworker, wooden boat builder, and longtime instructor in the Museum’s boat shop.


This workshop will run for five weeks from July 10–August 13 with required sessions every Sunday and optional weekday evening sessions. Weekday sessions will give you the chance to practice the techniques we will be using in Sunday sessions. On Saturday, August 13, we will launch and test out our new crafts. See the detailed schedule below:

Sunday sessions (required):

  • Sunday, July 10 at 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 17 at 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 31 at 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 7 at 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Weekday sessions (optional – attend as many as possible):

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:00–8:00 p.m.

On-Water Launch Day:

  • Saturday, August 13

Pay-What-You-Can Registration

Open to ages 16 and up. The standard registration fee for this workshop is $900 for all five weeks, which covers required Sunday sessions and all optional weekday sessions.

All our programs are Pay-What-You-Can and we invite you to pay the right amount for you to register for this program. No matter what you pay, you will be able to register for this workshop! Use the button below to register.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

4472 Basin Harbor Rd
Vergennes, VT 05491 United States
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