Programs of Study
Our mission is to teach and preserve traditional and contemporary wooden boatbuilding skills, while developing the individual as a craftsman.
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.
Degree and Diploma Programs
NWSWB offers a 12-month Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) Degree and a 9-month diploma. Students choose between the following programs: Traditional Large Craft, Traditional Small Craft, and Contemporary Wooden Boatbuilding.
The School’s AOS Degree program and 9-month diploma program follow an intensive instructional schedule. Classes are held 9am – 5pm on Mondays, 8am – 5pm on Tuesdays – Fridays. The School observes state and federal holidays; several times a year, students will have a day off from classes while the staff holds and in-service day.
Core Subjects at a Glance
All students take these introductory classes for the first quarter.
- 110 Classic Woodworking, 7 quarter-credits
- 120 Drafting, 4 quarter-credits
- 125 Lofting, 6 quarter-credits
- 130 Skiff Construction, 6 quarter-credits
For both 12-month degree and 9-month diploma programs, students will take:
- Large Craft, Part I-140 and Part II-240, 42 quarter-credits or
- Small Craft, Part I-150 and Part II-250, 42 quarter-credits or
- Contemporary, Part I-160 and Part II-260, 42 quarter-credits.
To complete the 12-month programs and AOS degree students will take:
- Large Craft, Part III-340, 21 quarter-credits or
- Small Craft, Part III-350, 21 quarter-credits or
- Contemporary, Part III-360, 21 quarter-credits.
Note: An additional 4 general education or applied general education quarter-credits are required to complete the AOS degree. These credits may be transferred in from another approved post-secondary school (at no cost) or students may take the evening course described below that is provided free for students at the Boat School.
American Maritime Heritage
- 180 American Maritime Heritage, 4 quarter-credits
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 FREE to satisfy the general education requirements for their associate degree. Bob Miller, a boat school alum, teaches this course. You can contact him at email@example.com 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.
Labs and Practicums
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.
Our optional 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 boatbuilding programs.
Topics may include boat design, diesel engines, carving, marlinspike, sail making, and rigging.
Policies and Procedures
Click on Frequently Asked Questions about admissions, cancellations, refunds, training standards, and more.
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. Serving the Seattle-area woodworking and boat building community for over 34 years with the highest level of craftsmanship and integrity.