The apprentice Class of 2018 celebrated its graduation day upon completing nine-month apprenticeships at The Carpenter’s Boat Shop with a successful and fun boat launching in Round Pond Harbor. The apprentices, who began their wooden boat-building apprenticeships in September 2017, participated in the construction of two Joel White-designed Catspaw dinghies using traditional lapstrake and steam-bending techniques. During the launching, they all had the opportunity to row and sail the beautiful craft that had taken many weeks to build.
The Carpenter’s Boat Shop, a nonprofit organization located in Pemaquid (Bristol), operates from two farmhouses on 25 acres of land near the Pemaquid River. Apprenticeships at the boat shop are open to all adults who are seeking an intentional way to navigate the transitions and rough seas of their lives. No tuition or fees are charged for the apprenticeship program. Apprentices receive no payment other than room and board for work done.
While apprentices are considering goals and directions, they live in community and learn boat-building, woodworking, cooking, sailing, and seamanship, and offer community service to neighbors in need. They also explore the deep questions of life and spirituality through reading, study, and discussion.
Each year, the apprentices build Monhegan skiffs and other traditional New England small wooden boats, such as peapods, dories, and dinghies. They also restore and repair a variety of different boats, learning the skills needed to maintain seaworthy vessels for years to come. All of the boats that they build are sold to benefit the boat shop and help keep the apprenticeship program tuition-free.
The Carpenter’s Boat Shop also relies upon the generosity of its many, many supporters, and will be holding its annual fundraiser, All Hands on Deck!, on Wednesday, Aug. 1 from 5-9 p.m. at The 1812 Farm in Bristol Mills. Tickets are $50 per person. It promises to be an exciting, fun-filled, evening including a lively cocktail hour (cash bar); a delectable dinner; a silent auction; an engaging talk by Bobby Ives, founder of The Boat Shop; and a live auction conducted by the always-entertaining John Bottero, of Thomaston Place Auction Galleries. Tickets are available for sale at Skidompha Library, Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop, and The Carpenter’s Boat Shop, and online at carpentersboatshop.org.
People are welcome to visit The Carpenter’s Boat Shop at anytime. All are especially welcome to join in for the community tea breaks that happen every Monday-Friday at 10 a.m. To order/purchase a boat, schedule some restoration work for one’s own boat, or offer a donation in support of the boat shop, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 677-3769 or go to carpentersboatshop.org.