Please check out our Youth Programs page for our kids programs!

February Vacation Family Woodworking Project

WHEN: February 17, 18, and 19 from 1-3pm

Looking for something fun to do with your kids during school vacation? Join us at Lowell’s Boat Shop on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 1-3pm for our Woodworking for Families workshop! Experienced instructors will teach you and your children how to build your choice of projects (birdhouse or model boat) using traditional hand tools. The kids will learn basic woodworking skills, and get lots of hands on practice. We’ll have enough instructors to handle a range of age groups; children must be accompanied by an adult. (Charge is per child, adult supervisors are free.) Give us a call if you have questions or concerns.

Member Fee: $95

Nonmember Fee: $105

Intro to Boatbuilding: Shellback Dinghy

WHEN: This course is held over two consecutive 3-day weekends, March 20-22 & 27-29;

class runs from 8:30am – 5pm each day, with a half day on the final Sunday.

Lowell’s Boat Shop Members: $750

Nonmembers: $825

Non-Refundable $250 deposit required at time of registration


A minimum of four students is required to run this class; we reserve the right to cancel due to under-enrollment.

If you’re curious about the boatbuilding process or ready to jump in and start building your first boat, this class is a great way to get started. No previous experience is required, simply a desire to learn. In this class students will build the hull of a good-looking classic design, the rowing version of Joel White’s venerable Shellback Dingy.

Instructor Bill Thomas will cover the basics of boat design and how to read and understand plans. Students will learn about plywood and solid wood, fasteners, glues and epoxy, and will work with fiberglass cloth. Construction methods will employ a combination of traditional techniques and modified glued-lap plywood construction. We’ll set up a strongback and molds, and make patterns and laminated frames. While building the Shellback’s lapstrake hull, students will use traditional methods of cutting and fitting the planks.

During the class there will also be time to discuss what you’ll need to set up your building space and get started with your own project.

Instructor: For over 40 years Bill Thomas has been a woodworker, designing and building custom projects — from cabinetry and furniture, to sailboats, powerboats, kayaks and canoes — for a wide range of clients. He teaches woodworking and boatbuilding in numerous locations around the country, including Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, the WoodenBoat School in Maine, and Arrowmont in Tennessee, and offers online classes through Craftsy and Off Center Harbor.

Metal Working for the Boatbuilder

WHEN: Friday, May 29 – Sunday, May 31

Fri 10-4, Sat 10-4, Sun 10-1

Member: $375 Nonmember: $410

($100 nonrefundable deposit when registering; balance and $30 materials fee due before first class)

A hands-on workshop reviewing basic metal working skills while each student makes their own brass pocket bevel, a handy tool to aid in building and restoring boats. The general goal is to teach skills for fabricating structurally strong, useful, and beautiful small metal objects, such as tools and hardware, without having full metal shop access. Techniques reviewed include:

  • Layouts/marking

  • cutting

  • drilling

  • filing

  • sanding

  • silver brazing

Students will also be instructed how to make and heat treat a steel-tipped marking tool, a step that may not be able to be completed within class time, but material will be provided.

Instructor: Erica Moody teaches metal working classes and workshops at Woodenboat School, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, The Apprenticeshop, & The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. She also has been an adjunct for various semesters at Wentworth Institute of Technology and Massachusetts College of Art & Design. She has been working professionally as a metal craftsman in and around Boston for 22 years with the last 15 years running her business Magma Metalworks, Inc., and the last year adding a line of personal work in small metal housewares and woodworking tools. She moved her business and home to Midcoast Maine a couple of years ago, and continues work there as well as in Boston/New England area.

Painting and Varnishing Workshop


Saturday, July 25 from 9-3

Sunday, July 26 from 10-2

Marine finishing requires a lot of careful preparation, good technique, and an understanding of marine coatings. Gary Lowell will present two information-packed days of painting and varnishing. He starts with surface preparation, including techniques for sanding, to help make the job less tedious. You will learn how to choose the right brush and several brushing techniques. You’ll also learn how to protect yourself so you can get a beautiful finish and stay healthy at the same time. Students are encouraged to bring small projects such as a hatch or seat to use as practice in class. Please check with the shop staff prior to bringing your project.

Member Fee: $195

Nonmember Fee: $215



Saftey Rules – dust control & chemical use

Surface Prep – paint and varnish removal, sanders and sanding techniques, & fairing putties and fillers

Brushes and Brushing Techniques – brushing & rolling and tipping

Applying Paint and Varnish

Specialty Products – masking, bleaching, staining, teak finishes, & wet sanding and buffing

INSTRUCTOR: Gary Lowell is a descendent of the Lowells who founded Lowell’s Boat Shop. He is the president of Lowell Boats Greensboro, NC, which is an award-winning boatshop specializing in classic runabout restoration. Gary teaches painting and varnishing at the WoodenBoat School and is a long time friend of the shop.

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