Welcome to the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding – Everyone’s Wooden Boat School


Make a Living, Craft a Life …

Welcome to the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding located in Port Hadlock, Washington. The Boat School is one of the best accredited educational institutions of its kind, attracting students from around world and as far away as Japan, Australia, England, South Korea, Austria, Canada, Taiwan, Ireland, Mexico, Scotland, and Tanzania. Our mission is to teach and preserve traditional and contemporary wooden boatbuilding skills, while developing the individual as a craftsman.

Full-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, 4 consecutive quarters.

201 Associate of Occupational Studies degrees completed 2011-2016!

Our Instructors Are Master Maritime Craftsmen and
Inspiring Industry Leaders

As a team, our instructors share a devotion to the highest levels of craftsmanship. They are inspiring professionals with years of wooden boatbuilding experience before becoming teachers. This experience helps them successfully guide students in their personal career goals and aspirations.

Our instructors value the art of teaching and supporting the success of all their students. These positive traits are distinguishing features of the School. Each of our instructors has established an international reputation both as a master boatbuilder and as a master teacher.  Instructor Bios and Videos.

AzulitaWe Offer Both Traditional and Contemporary Wooden Boatbuilding

Our boatbuilding programs include

Traditional Small Wooden Boats,

Traditional Large Wooden Boats, and

Contemporary Wood Composite Boats,

giving students a broad range of skills for careers in a variety of marine industries.


Career Strands for Our Graduates Are Interesting and Quite Varied

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThese include work in boat yards, maritime museums, educational programs, boat design, architectural design, automotive design, charter services, tall-ship programs, wooden boat repair and restoration, yacht construction and yacht interiors, wooden boatbuilding, boat surveying and appraising, musical instrument building, home and business building construction, fine furniture making, boatbuilding coaching, and cabinetry.

Graduates of the Contemporary Wood Composite Boatbuilding program have career strands in addition to those mentioned above, including, aerospace & rocket construction, wind energy, automotive design, engineering, moorings, buoys, marine docks, floats, water skis/wakeboards, surf boards, recreational watercraft, and Jet boats.

Veterans, Second-Career Explorers, Women, Disabled, Retirees, and International Students Are All Welcome

Because our instructors effectively impart their knowledge to others with an emphasis on hands-on learning, the School has become noted as a positive and safe learning environment for learners of all backgrounds, including:

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  • Veterans exploring new careers and their love of woodworking and boats.
  • Recent high-school graduates beginning exciting careers in a supportive community of boat builders and other related pathways.
  • Second-career learners absorbing new hands-on skills that better match their true passions and interests.
  • Women who want the challenge of entering an exciting, hands-on profession in which women continue to be underrepresented.
  • Retirees pursuing long-awaited dreams of pursuing the beauty and artistry of wooden boatbuilding.
  • Disabled students with learning disabilities, injuries, or medical conditions that need to be addressed effectively within the context of learning.
  • International students who learn about the School online and are attracted to its small, intimate setting.

No previous woodworking experience is needed to attend the Boat School.

Thinking of joining the School?

Click here to access our enrollment forms, catalog and application procedures.

See Where Our Graduates Are Working!

Alumni Testimonials!

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 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. Serving the Seattle-area woodworking and boat building community for over 34 years with the highest level of craftsmanship and integrity.