Cape Cod Maritime Museum Winter Boatbuilding Classes

Boatbuilding Shop, photo courtesy Cape Cod Maritime Museum.

The Cape Cod Maritime Museum’s Cook Boat Shop in Hyannis, Massachusetts, is offering a host of boatbuilding workshops and programs to see you through the winter. Here’s a quick rundown:

The following courses are available for December 2011 & January/February 2012:

Half-Model Making: One of the most satisfying wooden boat projects is building a half model of your favorite design. Half model making helps understand hull forms and design concepts as well as challenging your wood working skills. In this course not only will we learn how to build a model using the lift method, but we will talk about the lines which make up the hull shape, such as waterline shapes, buttock lines and body sections.

  • Dates: December 12th-16th (5 nights)
  • Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Cost: $225 non-members, $180 CCMM Members
  • Tools: spoke shaves, chisels, block plane
  • Design: Catboat 1″=1′ scale

Spar Making: Start with a visit to Pleasant Bay Boat & Spar Company, learn the basics of building a spar, understand the process in solid, hollow and box vs. round spars. Next you will use basic spar making principles, hands on, in building a 6-8’ stick, in CCMM’s Cook Boat Shop.

  • Dates: January 16, 17, 23, and 24 (4 nights)
  • Time: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Cost: $125 non-members, $100 CCMM Members
  • Tools: small plane, spoke shave, adjustable square, pencils

Intro to Lofting: The very basics of lofting for beginners. The course teaches how designers’ lines are laid down in three dimensions in order for hull shapes to be lifted in full-scale patterns. We will loft a 9′ flat-bottom skiff, learn to pick up bevels and develop transom bevels, all done with the simple drawing to scale.

  • Dates: February 15-18 (3 nights, 1 day)
  • Time: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. (2/15-2/17), 10:00 – 4:00 p.m. (2/18)
  • Cost: $125 non-members, $100 CCMM Members
  • Tools: hammer, pencils

Intermediate Lofting: This course is designed for the student who has an interest in building a boat on their own with no kits or pre-made construction materials. The course teaches how the designer’s lines are laid down in three dimensions in order for hull shapes to be lifted in full scale patterns. Learn to understand offsets and how to fare a line. Learn the meaning of every line an architect uses to create a hull shape. It is here the real construction of the boat begins.

  • Dates: March 5 – 8 (4 nights)
  • Time: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Cost: $150 non-members, $120 CCMM members
  • Tools: hammer, pencils

Intro to Boatbuilding: An entry-level course on boatbuilding that explores basic lofting, layout and terminology that goes with the construction of a 10’ skiff. Each student will have the opportunity to build each part of the skiff themselves before it goes into the actual skiff. Students do not need prior experience with boat building, woodworking or tools to participate in this course–only the desire to explore something different!

  • Dates: Tues. & Thurs., February 28, March 1 – 22 (8 nights)
  • Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • Cost: $225 non-members, $180 CCMM members

Intro to Classic Boatbuilding: This is an entry-level course on boatbuilding for students grades 5-8, which explores basic lofting, layout and terminology. Using hand-tools* students will construct a 10’ skiff and will each build their own scale model to take home. 6 sessions; 12 hrs. instruction

  • Dates: Wed., January 18 & 25, February 1, 8, 15, 29
  • Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • Cost: $175

*Note: no exposure to power tools


Rare Restoration Project: As the shop nears completion in its own construction, it is open to visitors as exhibit space, where they can view boat building projects, and a collection vessel restoration. Volunteer docents, who participate in free training with lead boat shop coordinator Chris Kelley, act as living history as they demonstrate traditional methods of building & restoring small classic Cape Cod vessels. The latest restoration project is of a rare 1930s International Sailing Canoe. When the outer canvas of the canoe was removed, newspaper was found lining the next layer with headlines referring to the Great War and Charles Lindberg, current events during its original construction!

Boatbuilding Training Program: CCMM’s latest volunteer opportunity is a new training program for folks interested in learning tools of the boatbuilding trade. Lead boat shop coordinator Chris Kelley will provide free training sessions on basic and specialized equipment for adults of any level. Once training is complete, folks can learn new skills or hone old ones on our current projects.


  • The Cook Boat Shop is open to visitors during museum exhibit hours, which are Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., and Monday by appointment.
  • Training Programs at CCMM’s Cook Boat Shop are drop-in during non-course times.

Contact Information:


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