By Hank Why member of New England Chapter
Three Antique Boat Groups in the New Hampshire Lakes Region have collaborated to provide opportunities for interested young wood workers to further their passion and boat building skills with scholarships to the Wooden Boat School in Brooklin, Maine.
Selection is based on:
1) A demonstrated passion for wooden boat building, preservation or restoration.
2) Helping others learn the tricks of the trade.
3) A willingness to accept a one-year free junior membership in each of the sponsoring groups during which time they will participate in club events under the guidance of a club mentor.
The long-term objective of the program is to build interest and develop a following of individuals in the next generation to perpetuate the missions of our respective organizations.
This concept has been jointly developed and funded by the New England Chapter of ACBS, the New England Lyman Group and the New Hampshire Boat Museum in Wolfeboro. Several candidates were interviewed by representatives of these organizations, and the first-year selection was Ms. Molly MacInnes of Georgetown, MA. Molly is a senior at Triton Regional HS in Byfield, MA. She was nominated by the New England Lyman Group and has spent 4 years interning at the Lowell Boat Restoration Shop in Lowell, MA.
Phil Spencer and Hank Why visited Molly at the Wooden Boat School in Brooklin during her two weeks in the Fundamentals of Boat Building Course. We had lunch with Molly and her lead instructor, Bob Fuller. It was clear that she was actively involved in all aspects of learning and doing. Her write up included bandsaw work, making knee templates for a baby Whitehall using a bevel gauge to establish the desired angles, and many other wooden boat construction activities. It was clearly the right course for her, and she was fully engaged in learning.
What is most impressive about the Wooden Boat School environment is that the staffing is all professionals from the boat building industry. These hands-on teachers taking a break from their jobs in industry to come to Brooklin to teach the next generation! We learned that lead instructor, Bob Fuller, runs the South Shore Boatworks in Hanson, MA. where they build and restore lobster-style, bass, and center console fishing boats, both wood and fiberglass. What a great crew to be passing along their knowledge and experience to the next generation!