Preview: Building Momentum, Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding

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Eric Blake joins Head instructor Sean Koomen for a tour of the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock, Washington. With 50 students building and restoring all kinds of beautiful wooden boats – traditional dinghies, modern composite fin-keeled boats, and more – the NWSWB has built a lot of momentum. Sitting on 6 waterfront acres and featuring multiple shops, the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding is in an ideal location. The proximity to Port Townsend’s haven for traditional maritime trades – shipwrights, rigging and systems, and sailmaking are still vital industries here – and Pacific Northwest lumber means students can experience boatbuilding from stem to stern, keel to masthead, and everything in between.

With seasonal and year-long programs, the NWSWB has all the tools to keep wooden boatbuilding alive for generations to come.

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10 Responses So Far to “Building Momentum, Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding

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    Baden Pascoe says:

    Who could I talk regarding the structure of how this school runs. We hope to be setting up a similar set up here in Auckland.

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    Paul Gallant says:

    Awesome awesome ! Always wanted to build a wooden boat, might do it yet !

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    David Kummerle says:

    Wonderful videos on NWSWB. My wife and I were there in ’14 near the tail end of a Pacific NW road trip. Got the tee-shirt! The 36′ motorsailer was in framing. Met Sean. Now new, the 23′ Blue Moon restoration…..I have the complete set of construction drawings bought from Tom Gilmer 45 years ago, planning to build her on my beach property in St. Croix, USVI. Life issues… never happened. In a new life, that yawl version sail plan hangs happily framed on our den. Design #80, Drawing #2A, 11/20/46. I was 4 years old then. A road not taken, but fond memories daily.

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      Michelle Caron says:

      I am also restoring a Blue Moon. She sits on my property up the hill from NWSWBB and awaits my return from elsewhere where I am SIP due to Covid. Project will take 10 months. Looking forward to sailing her. She is a beauty! If you are ever in the area again get in touch. Michelle

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    Baden Pascoe says:

    Lovely big dory you have there. Fantastic place

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    steve johnson says:

    .. sure inspiriting ~ I easily imagine myself right out of 12th grade.. throwing a backpack of minimal gear into my old camper-volks to join in the next class . Circa-1968 . The power of these excellent put films,sure fires up my visual cortex ! Thanks to Steve and Eric !

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    John Simlett says:

    I did my apprenticeship as a shipwright 1953 – 1959. Nice to see some of those old traditions being followed on this video; albeit my current build is modern (strip plank & epoxy resin and fibre glass). I still prefer hand-tools were possible; nice to see a hand brace in use during the opening scene

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    David L Schroeder says:

    Watching this video reminds me to always renew my membership to Off Center Harbor! I love the video materials and information you produce. THANK YOU for providing exceptional information!

  • Doug Hermann

    Doug Hermann says:

    Wonderful overview. I would be interested in similar videos of other “wooden boat schools”; The Apprenticeshop, Landing School, etc. You just never know when a video like this could spark a fire in someone to pursue traditional wooden boat building. I suspect I might have gone this path if I had access to these type of videos 40 years ago :-). Now I feed my desires with classes at the WBS in Brooklin!

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    Glen Swanson says:

    Wonderful video and a real surprise to see reference to Ann Davison’s Felicity Ann! I really hope you can take some additional time back at the Northwest School and walk us through this amazing little craft and its restoration. Glen


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