Boats

I cut my teeth in woodworking as an apprentice in a Maine boat shop. The first time I laid eyes on a hull under construction I was mystified. To conjure up a solid form whose surface rolls in twisting swells and then execute it with a stack of flat lumber seemed altogether impossible. It was alchemy. So, for two years at The Apprenticeshop of Rockland I spent my days and nights learning traditional wooden boatbuilding the only way there is to do it- by doing it, by laboring with your hands and taking designs from the lofting floor to launch day. And while the tools may have evolved the components and the processes are virtually unchanged since antiquity. It is still a patient craft, and the results still leave me awed. Soon after my time in Rockland I took on work restoring larger wooden boats as well as teaching the skills to classes of at-risk youth. Working as a boatwright has taken me from New England to New York and both of Michigan’s peninsulas. Along the way I’ve built 13’ rowboats and worked to restore 130’ classic yachts, but the one nearest to my heart is Oxbow, an 18’ yawl which Mandy and I rowed down the Mississippi in 2002.