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. Class time is 8:00am to 4:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday. In the School’s Design Class, apprentices learn fundamental design skills and prepare a full set of lines for a small sailboat. Two fundamental texts by the same author are used in the course: Howard Chapelle’s Boatbuilding and Yacht Designing and Planning.

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 $3000, of which all or part may be worked off on school projects.

Level Three- Compensated Apprenticeship

Students accepted into this level of the Apprenticeship Program join in on various shop and historical projects. Here apprentices are compensated on a sliding scale, according to their productivity. This stage of the Apprenticeship has no definite time period but is based on available space in the program, the need of the apprentice, and the judgment of the head instructor.

Instructors

Robert Darr is the head instructor of the program. He is assisted at different times by graduates.