Leigh O'Connor<< back to instructors



Leigh grew up on the coastal town of Swampscott, Massachusetts. He formed a love for the ocean at a young age and spent summers working on Lobster boats out of Beverly and Nahant. He attended the Art Institute of Boston where he studied as an apprentice in sculpture and bronze casting. He worked as a welder and metal fabricator to help pay for his education. After graduating, he moved into the field of woodworking, cabinetmaking, construction, and Historical Restoration.

In 2008, he received an Associate’s Degree from the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding and immediately began working as a shipwright. He has worked for himself and also with two of the top wooden boat companies in the Port of Port Townsend.

Leigh has a long history of working in the trades, but has also been honing his skills as a teacher over the years. He has taught college classes, children’s classes, and has been a guest instructor at the NWSWB.

Leigh believes that nothing is impossible. With the proper tools and information, a person can accomplish anything. It is his dream to pass on true skills to students who want to excel as craftsmen.  

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Hear our instructors! Jeff Hammond
Bruce Blatchley
Ben Kahn
Leigh O’Connor
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