Sean’s journey to the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding began early in his life. Born in California, he grew up in Minnesota where he had the run of he family farm, and spent “a lot of time messing around with tools.” In high school, a chance encounter with a “Build Your Own Boat” by Harold “Dynamite” Payson piqued his interest and set his course.
After graduating from the boat school, Sean continued to stay in touch with instructor emeritus Ray Speck, and that ultimately led to his return in June 2011 as an instructor.
“I think our school has the advantage of sharing the complete process of building a boat, and not a simple boat,” he said. “With the systems curriculum we have now, students can get the whole picture.”
The combination of traditional, contemporary composite and marine systems programs at the school is unique. “No one else does that,” Sean said.
Looking ahead, Sean sees the school continuing to refine all the initiatives begun in the last four to five years. Ironically, one of his goals is to keep the traditional program healthy and current with evolving developments. Contemporary curriculum is expanding into combining wood with carbon fiber and emerging technologies such as vacuum infusion. “We’re really trying to advance to keep abreast of the industry,” he said.
Sean and his wife Anne are the parents of three children- Janneke, Bruny and Jaspar. They make their home in the North Beach area of Port Townsend. He and his family love to get out hiking, sailing, surfing and exploring the Olympic Peninsula.