Boat Building Courses

There’s a long tradition of craftsmanship in custom boat building in North Carolina. But, you don’t have to look further than Front Street in Beaufort to see where that tradition continues.

A jewel at the center of Beaufort’s maritime culture, the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center serves as an important economic force at the North Carolina Maritime Museum by showcasing the art and skill of traditional boat building. The museum’s Watercraft Center sits on Taylor’s Creek, across from the Museum. There’s no better place to learn boatbuilding than on the water.

The Harvey W. Watercraft Center carries on the rich boatbuilding heritage of North Carolina coast through wooden boat building courses. These courses bring together participants of all ages from different parts of the country with “a common thread of creativity.”

Introduction to Wooden Boat Building Course

In this two-day hands-on course, students will explore the art of boat building from start to finish. They begin with the design and lofting of boats, and move on to the setup, steam bending and different methods of creating the back bone of small boats. In addition, they will learn how to make planking systems, both carvel and lap strake and all the appropriate fastening systems. By the end of the course, students will have the knowledge and skill to choose a design and style of boat to build on their own and the confidence to take on the job. All course size limited. Advance registration required.

Course Fee: $135. Minimum age: 16 yrs. old.

Call the Program Registrar at 252-504-7758 to make your course registration.

2018 Course Dates: September 29–30, October 13–14, November 17-18, December 8-9.

2019 Course Dates: January 26-27, February23-24, March 16-17, April. 13-14, May 18-19, June 22-23, July 13-14, August. 24-25, September 14-15, October 12-13, November 16-17.

Build a Boat-in-a-Day

Each participating team assembles a prepared kit for a small flat-bottomed plywood boat suitable for paddling. The boat is 12 ft. long, 32’ wide, and weighs about 40 pounds. By the end of the class each boat will be completed to a watertight condition. Detail finishing and painting is the responsibility of team members and may not be undertaken in the Watercraft Center. Teams are limited to a maximum of 4 persons, at least one of whom must be an adult. (6 hours). Course Fee: $600. Friends of the NC Maritime Museum: $540. Minimum age: 8 yrs. old. Course size limited. Advance registration required.

Call the Program Registrar at 252-504-7758 to make your course registration.

Course Fee: $600. Minimum age: 16 yrs. old.

2019 Course Dates:June.8, July 27, August 17.