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!


  1. What a wonderful experience to be had and to give to someone!
    I have had the opportunity to attend the Lofting, & Fundamentals of Boatbuilding classes, under Greg Rossel.
    The environment is nature at its best, along with students of all ages, from around the country, & around the world. Language may be a slight challenge, but never communication. Boats, nature, food, families at home where ever that is; are universal.

  2. The last issue of Trade Only highlighted the need for for young folks interested in boat repair & maintenance. There will be plenty of opportunities for these experienced young people to find meaningful jobs building and repairung boats.

    The Sunnyland chapter of ACBS is another group that is training young people in boat building and maintenance with their SCAMPI program.

  3. I have a 1957(?) Thompson outboard in ok condition that I started to restore. I’d like to give the boat to a school that can finish the job and either keep or donate the boat. The transom has been replaced. It’s on a trailer in Chester, CT in shrink wrap. Email me if interested.

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