New program has high school students building boats

BROOKLIN, Maine — Carl Cramer, publisher of Woodenboat Magazine, recently shared details of the company’s latest effort to stimulate boatbuilding and rowing skills in Maine high school students.

“This is our pilot program: To involve students from three area high schools to build and then row their very own boats,” Cramer said in a release detailing the project. “We are honored to announce that shop and marine program students from Deer Isle – Stonington High School (Deer Isle), George Stevens Academy (Blue Hill), and Sumner High School (East Sullivan) will be joining in this first effort. I fully expect the parameters of this program to be adopted on a nationwide basis, by high schools and communities alike. We are calling the program WoodenBoat BARC (Boatbuilding Rowing Challenge).”

The boat chosen for this program is the 22-foot St. Ayles Skiff. WoodenBoat has donated one boat kit each to the programs from Deer Isle – Stonington High School and Sumner High School; Hewes Company (of Blue Hill, Maine), the company that produces the kits, is donating one to the program at George Stevens Academy.

“The Deer Isle-Stonington High School marine program students will begin building their boat next week, once the first kit has been cut,” Cramer said. “The goal is to get all three boats launched and competing against each other in early June 2011.”

The Landing School (Arundel, Maine) will provide assistance.

“The Landing School staff and faculty are eager to contribute their support and expertise to the students endeavoring to learn the art of boatbuilding. A representative from The Landing School will visit each group of Maine high school students to offer guidance and encouragement as these aspiring boatbuilders take on Ian Oughtred’s St. Ayles Skiff. The collaboration with WoodenBoat, the regional marine trade and public high schools is an opportunity to advance the craftsmanship and integrity of boatbuilding for which Maine is renowned.”

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