Islesford Boatworks began its youth boat building program in 2006 and has very successfully used boat building to build opportunity, community and a future for Maine’s working waterfront. We are going into our sixth summer of community boat building and are proud to showcase the boats that have inspired dreams, strengthened friendships, built character and brought us all a little closer to one another.
Our first boat built over two summers. Stay tuned for the big finish!
2014: “Tubby Legs”
Taking two summers to complete, this was the most technically challenging project we have built so far. But, boy was it worth it! This small sailing canoe, driven by a pedal powered fish fin, is as fun to sail as it was to build.
A modified version of Harry Bryan’s Fiddlehead, this 14′ decked canoe is perfect for the paddling around island. The kids had a blast building this unique boat, and everybody involved to put their initials on the boat in nautical letter.
In 2012 we once again built another of Harry Bryan‘s designs when we took on the construction of his Ladybug, a wheel barrow boat designed to make launching a snap.. Named “Starfish” by the students, this little boat was a fun project that the kids loved, and that turned out quite wonderfully. The boat rows well and is a breeze to bring up the shore.
In 2011 we took on our biggest challenge yet when we built a Chummy Spurling rowing skiff. The Cora as she came to be called, was built to the lines of the famous boatbuilder Arthur “Chummy” Spurling a local boatbuilding legend that was Islesford’s last full time boatbuilder who lived to the ripe old age of 102. He died on his birthday after mowing his lawn! Chummy’s skiffs continue to be used to this day and one of his boats was used for the mold of the great rowing Jarvis Newman 12.5′ skiffs. The Cora was named after Chummy’s wife, and was by far our most complicated boat, taking many hours of volunteer labor to finish her in time for the Pirate Launch.
2010: “Dew Drop”
In 2010 we took on the challenge to make a beautiful plywood skiff. The Bevin’s Skiff is a classic teaching skiff with a moderate rocker and a handsome sheer, coming in at just under 12′ the Bevin’s was a joy to build and for the first time, the students names her and chose her colors.
2009: “All My People”
In 2009 we couldn’t help ourselves but to build another Geodesic Airolite, this time in a more traditional shape, the Classic 10 is inspired by the Whitehall and weighs in at 40lbs.
In 2008 we ventured into the wild world of Geodesic Airolite boats with the Snowshoe 14, a 30lb beauty of an open kayak complete with hand made paddles.
2007: “Bees Work”
We had had such an incredible summer in 2006 building the Daisy 12 ½’ that we decided to build it again. Having learned many tricks along the way last summer, we were able to finish the boat in 7 beautiful weeks.
2006: “The Class Work”
We started our first summer with a very ambitious boat design, the Daisy 12 ½’ by Harry Bryan, which we completed in 9 fun-filled weeks.