Boatbuilding Classes

Get crafty with woodworking in the Museum's Watercraft Center. Classes are available for all skill levels. Build a boat in a day with a team of friends or family members, or brush up on varnishing techniques.

Advance registration is required for all paid programs. Call 252-728-7317 or visit the Museum. Reservations cannot be made via e-mail and are confirmed only after payment is processed. For group programs, call for details and reservations. Field trips into coastal habitats may involve travel by boat or van, hiking or wading in shallow water. Closed-toe shoes are required for safety on field trips.
Registration costs, less a 10% fee, are refunded when the Museum receives cancellation notice at least two weeks before the start of a program. There is no refund within two weeks of the start of a program.
Opened in 1991, the Museum’s Watercraft Center has three primary missions:

Preservation and restoration - Preserving significant examples of the state’s watercraft is a key element in fulfilling the Museum’s mission. Watercraft Center staff and volunteers clean vessels in the Museum’s collection, document them with drawings and photographs, and stabilize them to prevent deterioration. When appropriate, they then restore them to their original condition, using research and documentation to ensure the highest standards of fidelity.

Boatbuilding demonstrations - The Watercraft Center preserves and transmits the heritage of wooden boatbuilding by publicly demonstrating the construction of new boats using traditional techniques. These are both Museum projects, undertaken by staff and volunteers using research and documentation to recreate replicas, or demonstrations by local boatbuilding of their own particular vernacular boatbuilding traditions.

Education - A key Watercraft Center mission is actively teaching wooden boatbuilding to new generations. Throughout the year experts in their fields offer public classes on a wide range of boatbuilding techniques.