The Carpenter’s Boat Shop combines life lessons and boat building


Looking to learn the skills to build a small wooden boat? There’s a place in the small coastal town of Pemaquid that can show you the ropes. The Carpenter’s Boat Shop is much more than just boat building, however. “I haven’t done carpentry since eighth grade. I just wanted to build a boat,” Todd Azadian told WMTW. It’s pretty much the same story for most who visit the store, and the chance to teach them how is the reason Bobby Ives founded it in 1979. “It was kind of a transformational exercise, it grounded my life, and I thought it would be nice to share it with other people,” Ives said. Ives has since retired but still likes to come back on occasion. to provide expertise on both boat building and life. “They come, and they work here, build boats, replenish lives in order to get a foundation under you,” Ives said. Ives, a minister, teacher and craftsman, designed his program to help people through their own difficult or transitional times. “All the joints must fit together perfectly, tightly. A person’s life depends on your craftsmanship and therefore you will build with great care,” Ives said. The main focus of the workshop is two four-month self-catering apprenticeship programs in the fall and spring. Week-long summer workshops help raise funds to fund them. “It’s a very emotional experience when you build a boat like this, a very beautiful boat, and you launch it and then row it or sail it. It’s like launching your life in a very powerful way,” Ives said.

Looking to learn the skills to build a small wooden boat? There’s a place in the small coastal town of Pemaquid that can show you the ropes.

However, the Carpenter’s Boat Shop is much more than just boat building.

“I haven’t done carpentry since eighth grade. I just wanted to build a boat,” Todd Azadian told WMTW.

It’s pretty much the same story for most who visit the shop, and the chance to teach them why Bobby Ives founded it in 1979.

“It was kind of a transformational exercise, it grounded my life and I thought it would be nice to share it with other people,” Ives said.

Ives has since retired but still likes to come back on occasion to lend his expertise to both boat building and life.

“They come, and they work here, build boats, replenish lives in terms of establishing a foundation under you,” Ives said.

Ives, a pastor, teacher, and craftsman, designed his program to help people through their own difficult or transitional times.

“All the joints must fit together perfectly, tightly. A person’s life depends on your craftsmanship and therefore you will build with great care,” Ives said.

The workshop focuses primarily on two four-month, tuition-free, pension-free apprenticeship programs in the fall and spring.

Week-long summer workshops help raise funds to fund them.

“It’s a very emotional experience when you build a boat like this, a very beautiful boat, and you launch it and then row it or sail it. It’s like launching your life in a very powerful way,” Ives said.

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