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Build Your Own Japanese Boat (two 3 day weekends)

Lowell's Boat Shop

Friday, July 20, 2018 at 9:00 AM - Sunday, July 29, 2018 at 4:00 PM (EDT)

Build Your Own Japanese Boat (two 3 day weekends)

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Type End Quantity
Tuition Deposit ($500 call shop to make payment) Jul 18, 2018 Free  

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Event Details

Building the Japanese Boat

with Douglas Brooks

 In this workshop each student will build their own boat, based on a traditional Japanese river boat design. The course will provide a thorough introduction to traditional Japanese boat building techniques, introducing students to the unique techniques of Japanese boatbuilding, including fitting planks with handsaws, fastening using both edge-nails and wooden dovetail keys. Other topics include sharpening with waterstones and the adjustment and tuning of Japanese wooden planes.

 The course will meet over two consecutive three-day weekends. Tuition is $750 (10% discount for members), with a materials fee of $1,000.

 The boat design is from the Agano River and is a hard chine, canoe-like craft used in the lagoons and estuaries of the river mouth. They are called, locally, itaawase (ita = plank; awase = to put together). Workshop boats will be about sixteen feet long and suitable for paddling by one or two people.

 If time permits, students will work on making paddles and/or half models. All the necessary materials and Japanese tools will be provided, but if students own hand tools they may bring a selection to class. The instructor will also discuss the tenets of Japanese apprenticeship. No prior woodworking experience is necessary.


About the Instructor:

Douglas Brooks is a boat builder, writer and researcher. He specializes in small boats built to traditional designs and he has taught boatbuilding across the United States and Japan. He has also studied traditional Japanese boat building since 1996, having apprenticed with seven different boatbuilders throughout the country. He has written for WoodenBoat magazine, Maritime Life and Traditions, and Classic Boat among other publications. His fourth book, Japanese Wooden Boatbuilding, is the first comprehensive survey of the craft published in any language. His work can be seen at his website

Have questions about Build Your Own Japanese Boat (two 3 day weekends)? Contact Lowell's Boat Shop

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When & Where

Lowell's Boat Shop
459 Main Street
Amesbury, MA 01913

Friday, July 20, 2018 at 9:00 AM - Sunday, July 29, 2018 at 4:00 PM (EDT)

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Lowell's Boat Shop



Established in 1793, Lowell's Boat Shop is the oldest continuously operating boat shop in the United States and is cited as the birthplace of the legendary fishing dory. Lowell’s is the only remaining survivor of the area’s world-renowned dory manufacturing industry that produced in excess of a quarter of a million dories over a period of two centuries. Building more than 2000 boats in 1911, this business was one of the first in the Nation to employ a seminal form of assembly line manufacturing.

Conveyed through seven generations of the Lowell family, Lowell’s Boat Shop was passed to the Odell family in the 1980’s and then to the Newburyport Maritime Society in the 1990’s. In 2006, Lowell’s was purchased by Lowell’s Maritime Foundation, an independent non-profit group with the mission of leading this National Landmark and Working Museum through its third century of wooden boat building.

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Build Your Own Japanese Boat (two 3 day weekends)
Things to do in Amesbury, MA Class Auto, Boat & Air

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