The Carpenter’s Boat Shop Apprenticeship is a 4-month commitment; the fall session runs from late August to mid-December, and the spring apprenticeship runs from February to the end of May. The program is tuition-free: we provide on-campus room and board with the expectation that participants will work hard building boats, sharing in meal preparation, and maintaining the facilities. We seek applicants of all backgrounds, age 18 and older.
The Carpenter’s Boat Shop provides a rare opportunity to pause in the midst of life’s challenges and take stock. Boatbuilding is a key vehicle for our work of building greater understanding and compassion for ourselves and others. We also devote time each day to learning about ourselves, each other, and the world we are part of. Our reflections explore identity, how we live our values, what excites us, what deadens us, what we believe in. Sometimes this means probing our personal edges and witnessing others speaking their truths. Other times it means playing together. We believe that balancing work, reflection, play, and learning keeps us whole.
Community is as central to our program as boats. By living together and through regularly providing service to each other and our greater community, we explore our impacts on others. Our hope is that by taking care in our work, we become more caring – toward others and ourselves. Our core commitment is to learning and growing together. For this, we need the views and heritage that each person brings to our large kitchen table. We welcome people of every race, gender identity, adult age, sexual orientation, and religion.
Whether your ambition is to work in the trades, start again after a setback, take time to heal from the loss of a loved one, transition into retirement, or simply evaluate the trajectory of your life, the Carpenter’s Boat Shop offers a supportive community within which to learn and grow. No previous woodworking, sailing, or community living experience is required to be accepted as an apprentice.
The daily schedule and four-month calendar seek the balance contained in the principles of work, hospitality, service, study, recreation, and prayer. Many of these principles are woven into the fabric of daily life in the shop, during times of reflection, and during tea time with daily visitors. And, life on the coast of Maine would not be complete without messing about in boats. Apprentices engage with Maine’s rich maritime history by not only building traditional wooden craft but also through paddling, sailing, and rowing on our local waterways.
The Boat Shop and the apprenticeship experience are supported by the sale of boats built by apprentices and by the gifts of many generous donors. Our standard craft is the Monhegan Skiff, a traditional rowboat design unique to our region. The Boat Shop also provides care for a regular clientele of boats, offering storage and maintenance services and some repairs.
The Carpenter’s Boat Shop does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, selection of apprentices, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who enter into our community. The Carpenter’s Boat Shop is a non-profit 501(c)(3) and is not a political advocacy organization.