The Apprenticeship Program

Apprentice Scott Ryan and instructor Robert Darr out for a sail on Lil Gal.

Applicants must have solid woodworking experience before applying to this program.  Beginning students must  attend the Saturday Class to become qualified. The time it takes to become sufficiently skilled varies a great deal from student to student. Qualifying for the Apprenticeship program depends upon mastering basic hand-cut joinery and properly observing the School’s rules.  The School does not offer financial aid or help with housing. Nor can we help foreign students with visas.

Level One-Fundamentals
After qualifying, students begin the apprenticeship program with a three-month trial period. Classes are held Tuesday through Saturday. In Wednesday’s  Design Class, apprentices learn fundamental design skills and prepare a full set of lines for a small sailboat.

Applicants should understand at the outset that the School operates this course in a traditional manner. Students must be on time, and must remain focused on the task at hand. Music and cellphones are not allowed. Except for medical reasons, absence from the course is cause for disqualification. Students must at all times abide by the safety and visitation rules laid down by the School.

Tuition: $2,000

Level Two- The Application of Theory

Those qualified by timely and focused study in Level One may proceed with six months at Level Two. Here students deepen their study of boat design and lofting. A second full sets of lines, this time for an ocean-going sailboat, must be completed.  Various boatbuilding methods are introduced and mastered by students of this level.

Qualified students begin to work on School projects.  There is home study of recommended textbooks on boatbuilding and design.

Tuition is $2000

Level Three- Ongoing Apprenticeship

After the inititial nine months, students may be accepted into a longer period of apprenticeship to work on various shop and historical projects. This stage of the apprenticeship has no definite time period but is based on available space, the aptitude of the apprentice, and the judgment of the head instructor. Tuition not charged for this segment since advanced students contribute time to the project at hand.


Anton Hottner, Holden Crane, Bob Darr (Design Segment)