Boat School Programs & Workshops

Quality education and craftsmanship are the focus


The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding is committed to providing men and women of all ages a quality education in traditional wooden boatbuilding and fine woodworking. We strive to impart sound, practical knowledge in traditional maritime skills, using wooden boats as the training medium. We hope to imbue students with the pride and satisfaction that comes from skillful work joyfully executed.

Full-time degree and diploma programs

thumbs-upFull time programs at the boat school include 12-month degree programs for an Associate of Occupational Studies degree (AOS) and 9-month diploma programs.

Associate Degrees at most schools take two years to complete, but because activities at the Boat School revolve around an 8 am – 5 pm daily schedule, Monday – Friday, students are able to complete the Associate Degree within a 12-month period.


Our full-time degree programs are:

Traditional Large Craft

Traditional Small Craft

Contemporary Wood Composite Craft


Core Subjects at a Glance

mussa-ulanga-2Fall Quarter: Basic Skills for Boatbuilders
All students take these introductory classes for the first quarter.
  • Classic Woodworking 110, 112 clock hours; 7 quarter-credits
  • Drafting 120, 64 clock hours; 4 quarter-credits
  • Lofting 125, 94 clock hours; 6 quarter-credits
  • Skiff Construction 130, 105 clock hours; 6 quarter-credits
Spring & Winter Quarters
For both 9-month diploma and 12-month degree programs.
  • Large Craft, Part I-140 and Part II-240, 375 clock hours; 21 quarter-credits
  • Small Craft, Part I-150 and Part II-250, 375 clock hours; 21 quarter-credits
  • Contemporary, Part I-160 & Part II-260, 375 clock hours; 21 quarter-credits
Summer Quarter
To complete the 12-month programs and AOS degree.
  • Repair and Restoration 270, 375 clock hours; 21 quarter-credits
  • Yacht Interiors 280, 375 clock hours; 21 quarter-credits

Labs and Practicums

Labs of up to 3 weeks may be held at nearby maritime locations such as Port Townsend’s Port and Northwest Maritime Center, an approximately 15-minute drive from the school.

Practicums at nearby maritime locations may last up to two quarters, allowing students to practice their new-found skills in real-world settings. Carpooling is facilitated through the school and public bus transportation is also available. Student transportation is supported as needed.

American Maritime Heritage

Bob Miller's Drascombe Longboat "Sally Forth"We offer American Maritime Heritage as an evening 4-credit applied general education course during Spring Quarter. Our 12-month students may attend this optional course to satisfy the general education requirements for their associates degree.  Bob Miller, boat school alum, teaches this course which is FREE for Boat School students. You can contact him at if you have questions about this course. Transfer credits from other colleges may also be applied to the applied general education or general education requirement, as well as classes at our local Peninsula College.



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Policies and procedures

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Penelope PartridgeOur noncredit, non-clock hour workshops include evening and weekend workshops varying in length from one day to several weeks or months. Students must pay additional fees to attend these workshops. The classes are led by local experts in related maritime trades and are prioritized to meet the interests and needs of students at the Boat School. The workshops are not required, but they are designed to enhance the full-time wooden boat building programs. Topics may include boat design, diesel engines, carving, marlinspike, sail making and rigging.





The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding
is accredited by the ACCSC

The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The ACCSC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. The School is also licensed under the Private Vocational Schools Act, Chapter 28C.10RCW of Washington State. Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution.
Any donations made to the School are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.


The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding is located on the Olympic Peninsula in Port Hadlock, Washington. Focusing on traditional small and large, as well as contemporary wooden boats, the Boatbuilding School is nationally accredited and internationally recognized as a fine vocational institution. The Boat School honors the boat building traditions of the Pacific Northwest and Puget Sound with boat shops located due south across the bay from Port Townsend, Washington. Programs, courses and workshops are offered throughout the year and include traditional wooden boat subjects such as lofting, oar making, painting and varnishing, boat building, carvel and lapstrake planking, small, large and contemporary wood composite boat construction. Craftsmanship and woodworking are of the highest caliber within the maritime vocational trades. At the center of our programs is the ability to earn an Associates Degree in one-year, culminating each September in presentations at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.