Theme: Work Readiness
Partner(s): Pratt Fine Arts Center, LMN Architects, Heron's Nest*

Boat III – Gloucester Dory [In Progress]

Our third boatbuilding program is off to the regatta! Our new partner Pratt Fine Arts Center graciously lent us their well-appointed woodshop where we were able to use their suite of woodworking tools. We also had a very fun field trip to The Shop at LMN Architects, where Hank Butitta and Sierra Morin demonstrated the fun and functionality of the CNC router by milling the strong-back molds to support the boat as we build.

With our group of students including both first-timers and returning boat-builders, we started with the basics: Pratt has an amazing assortment of hand and power tools, so every student got training on safe use of band saws, table saws, hand planes, chisels, pull saws, and more. We also covered the anatomy of a wooden boat, going piece by piece over components and their structural and engineering function. We learn general boat vocabulary and terminology, along with the science – and magic – of what makes a boat float.

Then we dove into building our first Gloucester Dory: a small, light, two-person boat. Students fabricated the stem – patterned and cut from a thick block of oak – and the stern of the boat (marine plywood with an oak frame). These were attached to our custom-built strong back, where we’ve set up the CNC-milled molds, around which we’ll wrap the hull planks. We’ll reconvene in the spring to install the bottom and seats, paint the boat,  and get her on the water!

Our fabulous mentors for this term are: Chris Mega, Erico Bonna, and Jenny Taylor. Thanks also to Alice Claybaugh for helping us develop this curriculum, and to Career Connect Washington for generous funding support!