View Full Version : Your thoughts on Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding -- summer workshop

Greg C
02-11-2014, 03:31 PM
I am considering taking the "Build a Heidi Skiff" week-long workshop (http://nwboatschool.org/workshops/july-14-18-2014-build-heidi-skiff/ ) at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding up in Port Hadlock, Washington.

Has anyone, especially a beginner (book knowledge, zero experience) like me, taken such workshops at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding?

I guess the students, under instruction and supervision of a faculty member, will build one skiff.

How does this type of workshop come out? Does it develop into a free-for-all in which students with strong, pushy personalities [you can sense my experience in past workshops!] do it all and get all the instruction? Or have you seen more balanced, managed instructional workshops up there?

I know this is a vague sort of question. I guess I'm just looking for reports on anyone's experiences at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding summer workshops. Also, advice on how to make the most of such a workshop, and what I may expect to take away from so compressed a schedule, being an absolute beginner as I am.

Thank you.

Tom Robb
02-11-2014, 04:34 PM
There's that squeaky wheel thing, isn't there?
You'd probably get out of it about what you put into it.
Yes some people, possibly more talented, probably more confident, will push. Some will hang back. Don't be that guy. Push yourself if need be.
Good luck.

02-11-2014, 08:22 PM
All of my experience with the boat school has been positive. I have taken both workshops and longer classes from them all have been enjoyable and educational.

02-11-2014, 08:41 PM
My first venture into boatbuilding was a 10-day summer course at this school in 2002. The course was in wood strip kayak construction, and the instructor was Joe Greenley of Redfish Kayaks. I learned a great deal about boatbuilding, woodworking, and good work habits that have had a positive impact in other areas of my life. Since then I have built two sailboats, and that beginning course is still the solid foundation of what I do. I would give it an A+ rating.

The quality and effectiveness of any course depends mainly on the individual instructor, as we all know. Results may vary. But I've had a lot of contact with the NW school's current faculty and administrative staff, and they're an excellent crew. I can recommend their courses for anyone, beginner to advanced.

Greg C
02-13-2014, 04:10 PM
Thank you, everyone, for your input.
It is hard for some of us to put ourselves forward, so to speak, in a group instruction situation; but I take your advice as encouragement!
*If* I take the workshop, I'll post a review. (There is still the budget issue to work out...)
Thanks again.

Tom Robb
02-14-2014, 07:17 PM
That "campus" is worth the price of admission.
Get up to PT. The Wooden Boat Foundation, Boat Haven, and too many great eateries to try out are worth some time too.

Greg C
07-01-2014, 09:35 PM
Well, crap. I signed up for the boat class and paid up, back in March I think. We made plans to travel up to Port Townsend and arrive a little ahead of the start date.
Then in mid-June I was informed the class was cancelled due to lack of enrollees.
A second, 2-day class at Port Townsend school of traditional woodworking was cancelled too! Phooey!
Still going to Port Townsend, though.