Graduation at Carpenter’s Boat Shop

The Apprentice Class of 2018 at The Carpenter’s Boat Shop.

The Apprentice Class of 2018 celebrated their graduation day after completing a nine month apprenticeship at The Carpenter’s Boat Shop with a successful and fun boat launch in Round Pond Harbor. The apprentices, who began their wooden boat building apprenticeship in September 2017, helped build two Joel White-designed Catspaw dinghies using traditional lapstrake and steam bending techniques. At the launch, 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 non-profit organization located in Pemaquid (Bristol), operates from two farms on 25 acres of land near the Pemaquid River. Boat Shop Apprenticeships are open to all adults looking for 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 remuneration other than room and board for the work performed.

While apprentices consider goals and directions, they live in the community and learn boat building, woodworking, cooking, sailing and seamanship, and provide community service to neighbors in need. They also explore deep questions of life and spirituality through reading, study and discussion.

Each year, apprentices build Monhegan skiffs and other small traditional New England wooden boats, such as peapods, dories and dinghies. They also restore and repair a variety of different boats, learning the skills needed to keep vessels seaworthy for years to come. All of the boats they build are sold to benefit the boat shop and help keep the apprenticeship program tuition-free.

The Carpenter’s Boat Shop also relies on the generosity of its many supporters and will hold its annual fundraiser, All Hands on Deck!, on Wednesday, August 1 from 5-9 p.m. at The 1812 Farm in Bristol Mills. Tickets are $50 per person. It promises to be an exciting and fun evening including a lively cocktail hour (cash bar); a delicious dinner; a silent auction; a captivating talk by Bobby Ives, founder of The Boat Shop; and a live auction led by the always entertaining John Bottero, of Thomaston Place Auction Galleries. Tickets are available for sale at the Skidompha Library, Sherman’s Maine Coast Bookstore, and The Carpenter’s Boat Shop, as well as online at

People are welcome to visit the carpenter’s boat shop at any time. All are especially invited to participate in the community tea breaks which take place every Monday-Friday at 10 am., call 677-3769 or visit

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