Introduction to Traditional Boatbuilding with Graham McKay


Join us at Lowell’s Boat Shop for an Introduction to Boatbuilding class instructed by boatbuilder Graham McKay.  This class will be held Monday & Thursday nights from 6-9 pm Jan 7 – Feb 7, 2018.

The class builds one Deer Island/Asa Thompson Skiff which is raffled off at the end of the class for the cost of materials. This class is intended to be a beginners class for students with little to no woodworking background.  All materials and tools will be provided, however students are encouraged to bring and use their own tools if they have them. The class will cover basic lofting, layout, wood selection, hand and power tool use, planking, fastening, etc.

The total cost of attendance is $750, with the first $250 as a non-refundable deposit.  There is a 10% discount for members.


Build Your Own Fox Double Paddle Canoe with Bill Thomas


This class takes place during two consecutive weekends: Friday, February 22nd – Sunday, February 24th, and Friday, March 1st – Sunday, March 3rd.


Tuition: $750 (10% discount for Lowell’s Boat Shop Members) 

The cost for the kit is $1,375 for both members and non-members (no member discount).

Total class cost: Non Member: $2,125   Member: $2,050

$500 non-refundable deposit is required at time of registration. Students are required to call or stop at Lowell’s to pay balance at least two weeks before the class start date (this avoids unnecessary online registration fees).  A minimum of four students is required to run this class; we reserve the right to cancel due to under-enrollment.

This class, offered over two consecutive three-day weekends (February 22-24 and March 1-3), will be taught by the boat’s designer Bill Thomas. Students will each have an assembled boat, ready for final sanding and finishing, at the end of the class.

Class begins Friday morning at 8:30am with a brief orientation and overview of what we will accomplish during class time. We’ll work until about 6:00 each evening, and should finish early in the afternoon on Sunday, March 3. Family-built boats or builders with partners are welcome.

Fox is a decked double paddle canoe, a boat intended for protected waters along the coast and for mountain lakes. With an 80” long cockpit, Fox is a grand boat for hunting, fishing and tripping with a dog or young child seated forward of the paddler. Two accessible watertight compartments add flotation and dry gear storage. There’s ample room for a camping kit. A rotating seat back and caned seat insure all day paddling comfort. Fox is 14’7” long with a beam of 30″; the finished weight is just over 40 pounds. For more information please follow this link:

Building the Fox to a high standard takes about 80 hours, including paint and varnish. In a six-day building class the boats are assembled and ready to transport, but students usually finish the epoxy coating, sanding and painting at home. (Once they have the boats home, students will need to provide their own sandpaper, paint, varnish and finishing supplies.) At the end of class all students will have Bill Thomas’s contact information and access to the 21-part building video on the Fox design.

In a review featured in Wooden Boats annual Small Boats issue Mike O’Brien commented on Fox’s handling. “Fox appears to have just the right amount of directional stability. It likes to keep going where we point it, yet it turns easily and predictably.” I’m not sure what more to ask for in a small boat.


Oar Making


Wednesday March 13       6-9 p.m.

Saturday March 16       8 a.m.-2 p.m

Wednesday March 20     6-9 p.m.

Cost: $185 (10% discount for members)
Limit: 10 Students

Come learn to make oars with Lowell’s Boatbuilders Graham McKay and Jeff Lane.


The course will cover wood selection, oar layout and patterning. Students will complete at least one oar (two if they’re good!) over the duration of the course and go home with a blank for their second oar.

The course takes place at Lowell’s Boat Shop, in our fully equipped classroom. Bring your tools if you have them, we have plenty if you don’t.



Metalworking for the Boatbuilder with Erica Moody


WHEN: Friday, April 5 – Sunday, April 7

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

Cost: $375 ($100 deposit when signing up, balance due at 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 tool steel tipped marking tool, a step that may not be able to be completed within class time, but material will be provided.

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.