Frequently Asked Questions and Policies


The topics below answer the most Frequently Asked Questions.  Please contact us through our online inquiry form with additional questions.

The current School Catalog is your best source for up-to-date information about our school. It includes topics such as:

Admissions procedures and enrollment

See the webpage about enrollment and admission to access topics such as eligibility requirements, application for enrollment and foreign student enrollment.

Housing assistance

The webpage for accommodations and housing provides resources and options on places to stay near the school.

Associates of Occupational Studies (AOS) Degree

The AOS degree program page includes information about general requirements, credit transfers, accumulative credit and course upgrades.

Learning Resource System

The School library houses more than 1,200 books and periodicals on a wide variety of maritime subjects. It is open during school hours and after school two days a week. Students also receive library cards for the regional library system which includes two special maritime collections. Students can access the web and personal email accounts through the Schools free Wi-Fi and computer workstations at regional libraries.

Cancellation, termination and refund policies

For information about cancellation and refund policies please refer to our Admission, Tuition, and Financial Aid section of the School Catalogue. The School Catalogue can be accessed through this page: Enroll Now

Clock hours and credits (defined)

Clock Hours and Quarter-Credits

  1. A clock hour is defined as 50 minutes of instruction in a 60-minute period of time.
  2. A credit hour is defined as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement for academic activities as established by the institution. The aforementioned academic activities comprise: didactic learning environment; supervised laboratory setting of instruction; externship; and/or out-of-class work/preparation.

The contract hour conversion formula is below:

  • One quarter-credit hour equals 30 units comprising the following academic activities:
  • One clock hour in a didactic learning environment = 2 units
  • One clock hour in a supervised laboratory setting of instruction = 1.5 units
  • One hour of externship = 1 unit
  • One hour of outside class work and/or preparation for the didactic learning environment or supervised laboratory setting of instruction that are designed to measure the student’s achieved competency relative to the required subject matter objectives = 0.5 unit


Students can receive mail at the School address, use the office phone for local calls, and send faxes from the office at no charge. Computers and printers are available in the School library and Wi-Fi is available throughout the campus.

Disability Accommodations

It is the policy of NWSWB to comply with all federal and state laws concerning facility access and the education of qualified individuals with disabilities. NWSWB will provide reasonable accommodations to students if the school is notified that a student with a disability requires an accommodation in order to pursue or continue training at NWSWB. An accommodation is not intended to lower or to substantially modify a course of study or its standards or expectations. NWSWB will work with the student to reasonably accommodate him or her so that he or she can
learn in the classroom and lab settings, unless the accommodation causes undue hardship, fundamentally alters the program or course of study, or causes undue financial burdens.

Disability Verification and Accommodation Form

Financial aid

Financial aid may be available for those who qualify. The School is approved to participate in Federal Financial Aid programs, including the Federal Pell Grant program, the William D. Ford/Stafford Loan program, and the Plus Loan program. Students who wish to apply for Federal Student Aid will need to complete a 2016/2017 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form online at For current information about applying for financial aid, please click here. Our Federal school code is 041550.

General education and applied general education credits

Students wishing to acquire the AOS degree may transfer their general education or applied general education credits from other approved post-secondary institutions. Applied general education is defined as courses directly applicable to a specific occupational cluster in related natural and physical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; technology; and humanities and fine arts. General education is defined as courses that are designed to develop essential basic academic skills. Students without the required general education credits may take the American Maritime Heritage course offered free at the Boat School.

Career Services

The Boat School is in contact with potential employers around the world. The School sends out email notices to graduates with current employment opportunities. The Student Services Coordinator can provide resources for resume writing, application competition, references, digital portfolio development, and interview skills. The School tracks graduates and keeps a record of their work and boatbuilding histories. Graduates automatically become members of our alumni association.

The School cannot guarantee graduate employment

Non-Discrimination Policies

The Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

Betsy Davis
Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding
42 N. Water Street
Port Hadlock, WA 98339
(360) 385-4948
General info:

Prerequisites for courses

All students must successfully complete each quarter before moving on to the following quarter.

Recreation and entertainment


The Boat School encourages students to explore Port Townsend Bay in the evenings and on weekends. Many hundreds of miles of protected cruising waters spread out from Port Townsend Bay. Sailing experience is also available in Port Townsend aboard vessels ranging in size from 20’ sloops to 100’ schooners. The Student Services Coordinator can connect students to local recreation opportunities.

In addition to sailing, nearby recreation includes hiking in the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, exploring the rural roads of Jefferson County by bike, and exploring the San Juan Islands. Port Townsend, Sequim, and Port Ludlow sailing events and activities can be found at and The Olympic Discovery Trail is a great hiking/biking/horseback riding path that spans 100 miles of the Olympic Peninsula: www. The Olympic National Park and the Olympic National Forest are excellent for weekend explorations, and include miles of mountain and beach hiking: and olympic/. Port Townsend offers community events, live music, entertainment, arts, theatre, dance, sports, and more:

Risk and insurance

Many of our courses involve some level of risk. Students assume full responsibility for their safety and must provide their own health and accident insurance. Before a course begins you will be required to sign health/risk and hold harmless waivers as part of the registration process.


Each year the NWSWB publishes an Annual Security Report which contains policy statements and crime statistics.  You can read this on the website or request a paper copy from a school administrator.

Standards of conduct

The guide to standards of conduct in the School Catalog includes information on policies regarding smoking, alcohol and drugs, safety rules, pets and personal projects.

Student body – your fellow students

Common threads expressed by students at the Boat School include an affinity for wood, boats and fine craftsmanship. You will find that your fellow students are of all ages and come from all walks of life. They include recent high school graduates, middle-aged workers and professionals making a career change, and retirees learning new skills. Most of the students at the school are 25-35 years old. Our students have vocational goals that vary across a broad spectrum of woodworking-related careers in addition to boat building.

Tools and course materials

Full-time programs: A guide to required tools is mailed with each student’s enrollment confirmation packet. The tools page on the school’s web site has more information related to this requirement.

Training standards and satisfactory progress

The guide to training standards and satisfactory progress policies in the School’s Catalog provides information on attendance requirements, the school grading system and graduation standards.

Transcripts and student records

Student records are kept for a minimum of fifty years from the date of each student’s enrollment. A request for a copy of your academic transcripts may be made in writing to:


Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding

Attn: Student Services
42 N. Water Street
Port Hadlock, WA 98339
(360) 385-4948 ext. 305
General info:


Tuition and program costs

The current tuition scale for our vocational degree programs includes current tuition costs, clock hours and credits by program.

See the current for details.

Veteran Support

Rita Frangione, Veteran Resources & VET Connect
Rita is the Veterans Outreach Coordinator for Vet Connect, a local veteran service group associated with Olympic Community Action Programs. Rita has over 30 years experience as a vocational rehabilitation counselor working in medical, industrial, private and non-profit settings. She is retired from the US Department of Veterans Affairs where she counseled disabled veterans in their planning for education, training and employment. Rita has a Master of Science degree in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Rita can be reached by emailing

See the current for details.



The Boat School offers a variety of non-credit, non-clock hour workshops throughout the year for a modest charge. Students are able to participate in these workshops after regular school hours, thus expanding the educational opportunities available to them. Topics may include sail-making, rigging, marlinspike, carving, and boat design.

See webpage

Work and study at the school


The school day usually begins with two hours of lecture. Students spend the remainder of the day in the boat shops working on bench projects, drafting, lofting, and building boats. Instructors take into account the skills, interests, and goals of each student to shape their boatbuilding experience. Students typically work in groups of 12 students per instructor. Instructors conduct demonstrations, educational meetings, and field trips throughout the year.

During the day, students have a short morning and afternoon break in addition to their hour lunch break. Students participate in all aspects of the work of a commercial boat shop. This may include sorting, selecting, and milling lumber; blocking up and moving boats; sanding, painting, and varnishing; and adjusting and servicing tools. At the end of the school day, everyone cleans up the assigned areas around the campus.

Students complete one hour of research each week on a maritime subject of their choosing, utilizing the School and community maritime libraries.

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.