• Skilled craftsmen share their knowledge in a mentored setting

  • Participants learn a valuable marine craft—and teamwork

Build A Boat

The Build a Boat program, established in 2009, concentrates on the practical application of academics, such as math and science, in the planning and construction of a boat from a kit. The program teaches invaluable life skills such as following directions, teamwork, learning and practicing appropriate workplace behaviors, and savoring the satisfaction of a job well done.

Participants have to use tools safely and be mindful of leaving their work site clean and tidy. This program emphasizes maritime history, the Annapolis boatbuilding tradition, and the important role that tradesmen played in the development of their community. These boatbuilding experiences provide a solid foundation for vocational skills development, as participants try out woodworking, construction, and painting in a safe environment with dedicated mentors.

Each year we have a dozen or more participants in the program, which runs for about 8 weeks in the early Spring. Since its inception the young boat builders have constructed two Peace Canoes (2009), a Northeaster Dory (2010), and a Kaholo Stand Up Paddleboard (2011), and a beautiful kayak! A spirited event occurs each spring as our team of Box of Rain boat builders launch their craft and see it float at a launch party just for them! The boat building kits are donated by one of our most generous supporters, Chesapeake Light Craft.


If you would like to sign up to be a boat builder volunteer click here. You do not need to have any building experience as often we just need people to help coordinate lunch or work with the kids as needed. If you would like to donate water, food, or supplies to the program click here.