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Boat Building Apprenticeships, Internships, Workshops and Sailing Programs in Rockland ME

the apprenticeshop rockland

Founded in 1972, The Apprenticeshop has been dedicated to inspiring personal growth through craftsmanship, community and traditions of the sea. Located on the waterfront in Rockland Maine, the Apprenticeshop offers programs for youth and adults that ranges from 2 hours to 2 years. Students of all ages come here from around the world to learn traditional boat building skills, sailing and maritime arts. Today, as a non-profit organization, the Apprenticeshop is recognized as one of the finest and oldest traditional boat building schools in the country.

The shop maintains its original focus of craftsmanship, seamanship and community. Students are still called apprentices in reference to the master-apprentice educational model the shop upholds. Apprentices still sail in shop-built boats, learn traditional methods from instructors and each other, help maintain the facilities, and foster a continuing spirit of community.


Training Programs

Shop Programs

  • Two-year Apprenticeship at The Apprenticeshop: Apprentices study intensely with the Sho for the majority of two years, often spending more than 40 hours per week in the Shop. With the exception of 7 vacation weeks (3 weeks for winter holiday in December and January, 1 week in spring and 3 weeks after summer launches in June), apprentices are in the Shop building boats year-round. An apprenticeship is completed when participants finish their final project. Graduates of the 2-year program can expect to have a solid working knowledge of wooden boat construction, the use of hand and power tools, and seamanship skills that will allow them to confidently walk aboard a boat and set sail.
  • Twelve-week Intensive Small Boatbuilding Program: The 12-week Small Boatbuilding Program introduces students to boatbuilding through the construction of a 12-foot, flat-bottomed lapstrake rowboat, the Susan skiff. The 12-week program allows for the completion of the Susan skiff at a comfortable pace for most students. 12-week participants are active members of the Shop community, participating in Friday walk-around, Shop clean up, field trips, seamanship programs during the sailing season, and other Shop activities.


  • Oar Making Workshop (5 days): This week-long workshop provides a thorough, hands-on introduction to the craft of oar making. You'll learn the basics of patterning, cutting, shaping, and finishing a pair of oars using traditional hand tools, such as a spokeshave, drawknife, and block plane.
  • Toboggan Building (2 days): The annual toboggan building workshop is a two-day weekend workshop with dates available in December and January. Many of the class participants build with an aim to race their own sleds in the U.S. Toboggan Nationals held in Camden, Maine in February.
  • Bronze Casting (2 days): This weekend program will teach the basics of bronze casting and offer a hands-on exploration of basic soldering and brazing for small custom metal marine hardware.

Sailing Programs

  • Adult and Youth Sailing: The Apprenticeshop is located directly on Rockland Harbor and the Community Sailing Program was designed to provide Rockland area youth and adults the opportunity to develop self-confidence and satisfaction while learning the timeless skills of the sailor and the sea. This program has grown to include afterschool sailing in the spring and fall, and a full season of sailing instruction for beginner through intermediate adult and youth sailors.
  • Weekly Programs (5 days)
  • Summer Adult Sailing (4 days)
  • Summer- Women's Sailing (18 hours)
  • Summer- Friend's & Family Sail

LAST UPDATED ON June 29, 2018

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