A Question About wooden Boats, Any boating knowledge would help?

I am seriously considering attending wooden boat building school... I have a real passion for boats even bought my first 30ft sailboat when i was 20 with my savings... Best day ever...

Anyway If i decided to do this do people still buy these sort of boats? I feel because of my passion and with ability i can create great things, but after all will i be able to make a living?

The school is in ME and it isnt cheap but i have the cash I just dont know if it is a good investment.

Thank you for any information

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I say that you have a great idea! Here's some of my reasoning:

    1. While you may never be called upon to build a large wooden yacht, you will be a conservator of the skills to do so, and they will not be lost.

    2. There is a pretty good market for wooden boats -- there are enough enthusiasts to support a number of magazines (check out a year or two of WOODENBOAT, or PROFESSIONAL BOATBUILDER, you'll get a pretty good idea of the market). (1)

    3. Even the ugliest of floating plastic palaces needs interior and deck carpentry. Some examples (2)

    4. Speaking of floating plastic palaces -- the raw material for them comes from oil, and when oil prices get up over $200 per barrel fiberglass boats will be priced out of the market. Wooden boat builders will be turned to to produce the (sailing) watercraft which will be in demand. (3)

    5. The restoration and conservation of wooden craft is also very important. This is being done all over by both public and private enterprises. For instance: places like Mystic Seaport, South Street Seaport, etc., always have projects running; restorations on Hacker and Cris-Craft can cost thousands PER FOOT; one particular niche which needs help right now is for someone who can restore wooded racing shells...

    6. Educational and community programs dealing with wooden boat building are very popular now. I've seen the need for wooden boat builders at community colleges, summer camps, community centers, etc.

    Good luck, build good boats.

  • 1 decade ago

    There are few things more beautiful than a well built / maintained wooden boat. However, wood is not always the most practical material. Composites have taken over as the material of choice for the majority of boat owners.

    If you are considering boat building for a career, it would probably be best to know how to build boats out of a variety of materials, including wood, so that you can meet the needs of the customers you're selling to. In this sense, the course is a good idea even if wooden boats don't turn out to be the mainstay of your career.

    Alternatives to the course you're considering would be looking for someplace you could volunteer on a building or restoration project or working part time for a boat builder. Both of these offer ways to learn the craft without shelling out your money and in the latter case, it may even pay you a dollar or two. If you find that you like it, you can always take the course next year.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago


    Source(s): Learn Building Boats http://renditl.info/BoatProjects
  • Anonymous
    3 years ago


    Source(s): Woodworking projects http://givitry.info/WoodworkingProjects
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  • 1 decade ago

    Something else you might look at: http://www.woodenboatrescue.org/ There are lots of free wooden boats out there in need of restoration and good homes. There are also those who would pay to have their own classic restored as well as wanting to pick up one of the "free" boats, but lacking the skills or time to restore it themselves.

    I am thinking of building some smaller (lake size) sailing craft and plan to use wood construction. (mostly using 1930's-1950's "classic" designs) Properly sealed and constructed wooden boats can outlast glass in many climates. UV is hell on glass boats! A 5 year old glass boat around desert lakes like Lake Mead that is still decent looking (and safe) is a rare commodity, but I can show you some beautiful 50 year old wooden boats in the area.

    A wooden boat may cost more to build, but those with the money to buy them are often looking for the class only wooden construction can give.

  • Being I'm in the Great Lakes area of the country, there is still a small demand for wooden boats. Chris Craft, Hacker Craft, and others still sell. Now I'm not telling you that the market is great for wooden boats, if you plan on selling one, it may take several years to sell it. The first boat I ever sold was wooden. Of course that was back in the early 80's. If nothing else you can still use your skills for the interior of a boat. Not all manufacturer's have fiberglass interiors. I applaud your resolve to keep alive a trade that has slowly faded away.

    Source(s): 28 years in the boat business
  • 1 decade ago

    The skills you would learn might prove very valuable in other pursuits, like restoration of Historic Artifacts - Boats. But, there is minimal demand for hand built wood boats.......thus you can't depend on the training to support you. There are many Public Vocational Schools that might be more affordable, and broader in scope......Perhaps near you. I'd look into that first. You might also look at interning at places like the Smithsonian Institution in DC.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago


    If you are looking for plans to build your own boat this is the best online site available: http://boatplans.toptips.org

    They provide you with detailed plans and diagrams, complete with color pictures and examples on many types of boats. Sailboats, skiffs, canoes, kayaks, houseboats, paddle boats, yachts, catamarans, flat-bottom boats, dinghys and dories, to name a few. There are multiple plans available for each kind of boat, so you have some variety to choose from. The 45 videos on boat building leaves no stone unturned. It consists of the entire boat building process from conception to the final product. It is great for beginners who want an easy to follow video guide on boat construction. There are also videos on boat repair and boat design calculations which are great for professional builders. The offer a collection of 518 boat plans, 40 videos and about 500 pages of boat building guides. I've just bought the entire package!

    Cheers ;)

  • 4 years ago

    The Bible I live by. A person on a boat can only lead me so far. I take the Bible seriously, and part of the Bible is a global flood in which all creation is saved for the purpose of Jehovah God. What is self deception is to think we are all here, on earth, as a product of chance. When I wasn't a Christian I played chance. The game of chance leads to a loser every time. The Bible leads to everlasting life; John 17:3

  • 1 decade ago

    If you build a quality product, people will buy. However, the competition will be tough since fiberglass boats are much cheaper to build. Of course you could be following in the footsteps of Barry Stephens who built "Custom" wooden motor yachts which to this day still command great praise.

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