Our Youth Programs

July 7-12: Seafaring and Sail Training for Teens

This sail training voyage — a collaboration between Lowell’s Boat Shop, Maritime Gloucester, Tall Ships Maine and Ocean Passages — offers teens the adventure of a lifetime! We’ll spend a week aboard the schooner Harvey Gamage, working side-by-side with a professional crew to learn seamanship, sail handling, and leadership. Graham McKay of Lowell’s Boat Shop will Captain the vessel for our trip; Amanda Madeira of Gloucester Maritime will serve as co-Captain (both are fully USCG licensed and have decades of experience sailing tall ships and leading onboard educational programs). Weather permitting, the itinerary includes a day on Stellwagen bank watching whales and learning about the fisheries, and an overnight passage to the coast of Maine to explore some of the more remote islands before returning to Portland, Maine on Friday.

The hands-on nature of this distinctive program encourages independence and a sense of achievement that increases levels of self-confidence and self-esteem.  A week at sea offers the perfect opportunity for kids to unplug and truly engage with the world around them!

**This program is academically accredited by Falmouth (Maine) High School. Participants receive a letter of elective credit which should be valid as a transfer credit on their high school transcript.

Space is limited. Please call 978-834-0050 or email dorothy@lowellsboatshop.com if you have questions.

 Program Dates & Rates

  •  Board Sunday, July 7, 2019 at 4PM in Gloucester, Massachusetts
  •  Disembark Friday July 12, 2019 at 11AM in Portland, Maine
  •  Fee of $1,100 includes 3 meals per day, fuel, crew, docking fees, etc. Non-refundable deposit of $500 is due at registration; balance due May 1. A limited number of scholarships are available.




Check out this article: Tall Ships Maine recognized by national organization for innovative partnership to take teenagers to sea

Castaways 2019 – An Adventure for Kids!


What does it take to survive on an island in the middle of the mighty Merrimack? Join us on this Castaways adventure to find out! We’ll row from Lowell’s Boat Shop downriver to High Rock, where we’ll make landfall and practice our survival skills such as shelter building, tracking, and wild edibles identification. Teamwork and the ability to think out of the box required!

Castaways - Session One


July 23 – 24

Castaways - Session Two


August 20 – 21

Build Your Own Pond Yacht! / Rowing on the Mighty Merrimack!


July 29 – August 2

Build Your Own Pond Yacht will take place in the mornings during the week, and the Rowing on the Mighty Merrimack will take place in the afternoon. Participants can sign up for one or both of these programs!

Build Your Own Pond Yacht


July 29 – August 3


Spend a week at Lowell’s Boat Shop learning traditional boat building skills by building your own model sailboat! We’ll work in the shop’s classroom to design and shape hulls, round masts and booms, paint, and rig the boats in time for a mini regatta on the Merrimack River. No skills nor prior experience required. This is a great opportunity to familiarize your child with woodworking and tool use.

Rowing on the Mighty Merrimack


July 29 – August 2


We’ll spend the week exploring the Merrimack River using the Boat Shop’s fleet of traditional Banks dories and our ten-oared surf dory Provident. After lessons in water safety and rowing instruction, we’ll cast off to explore the river and its surrounds. Past trips have included jaunts down the Pow wow River, and to Maudslay State Park, Indian River and High Rock.

Marsh Madness!

Dates: Tuesday, August 6th – Wednesday, August 7th 2019



Join us on an Expedition to Joppa Flats and the marsh beyond! We’ll learn about navigation and mapping the coastline as we go, using tools our maritime ancestors would have used. Once we reach Joppa we’ll spend the afternoon exploring the marsh ecosystem, finding and identifying the plants and animals that call the marsh home and differentiating between native and invasive species. Wear old sneakers and clothing that can get dirty — we’ll be getting muddy!

This is a two-day program, 9AM-4PM each day, appropriate for children ages 9-13. Space is limited.

*A miminum of 4 students is required to run this class. Should there be fewer than four students Lowell’s Boat Shop reserves the right to cancel the class at any time for a full refund.


Maritime Explorers!

– a collaboration with Gloucester Maritime

Dates: Monday, August 5th – Friday, August 9th 2019




Registration : Non-Members – $450; LBS Members – $400

Audience: Ages 10-15

Join us for an exciting week of programming in collaboration with the Essex Shipbuilding Museum, Lowell’s Boat Shop, Schooner Ardelle and Schooner Adventure. This week will bring history alive as participants learn about the Northshore’s rich maritime heritage while participating in engaging hands on learning activities and on the water recreation. The week will start at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum where participants will make trunnels and steam bend wood as they learn about what it took to build a ship in the age of sail. Tuesday will be spent on the Maritime Gloucester campus learning what it took to fit out a fishing schooner sailing from Gloucester harbor. Wednesday will be spent aboard the schooner Ardelle where participants will learn about the evolution of fishing techniques and boat design as they sail an Essex pinky schooner. Thursday will be spent at Lowell’s Boat Shop where participants will get hands-on experience learning about traditional tools and building techniques while working on a dory, then they will have the opportunity to row, and set a trawl as fishermen would have when fishing the Grand Banks. The week culminates aboard the schooner Adventure where participants will learn the ropes aboard a large Essex built, Gloucester fishing schooner where they will learn about what it would take to plan and execute an offshore fishing trip.

Each day will begin at Maritime Gloucester and participants will travel to the day’s activity from there. Transportation provided.

Please register through the Maritime Gloucester website found by clicking here.


The Great Rowing Adventure!

– a collaboration with SummerQuest at the Crane Estate

Dates: August 12 – 16



The week will start at Lowell’s Boat Shop, where we’ll learn rowing techniques and water safety – and then we’re off! This session is all about the journey, and what we see and learn along the way. We’ll row a surf dory down the Merrimack, then cut into the creeks that meander along the backside of Plum Island through the Parker River Wildlife Refuge, stopping at various points of interest until we reach Steep Hill Beach. There will be an overnight camp out in the Pine Grove at the Crane Estate, a jaunt to Essex for ice cream and a tour of the Essex Shipbuilding Museum, and an exploration of Choate Island. (Drop off and pick up is at the Crane Estate unless you make prior arrangements; please call Dorothy at Lowell’s Boat Shop (978-834-0050) or SummerQuest (978-356-4351 x4052 ) if you have any questions or concerns.)  To register, go to: https://summerquest.campmanagement.com

AGES: 13-15 (please call if your child is close to this age range and wants to participate)

SESSION DATES: August 12-16, 2019        TIME: 9AM – 4PM

FEES: MEMBER: $450      NONMEMBER: $550        DEPOSIT: $100 per session NON-REFUNDABLE


PLEASE NOTE: LBS members can register as Members and receive the Member Discount (use code: LBS Member). You will receive the Member Discount if you are a current LBS Member and/or current Trustees Member; if you wish to become an LBS Member or a Trustees Member, please give us a call!


** Fees include lessons at Lowell’s Boat Shop; boat rentals; and dinner, s’mores and breakfast for the campout. Tents are provided.

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