Boatshop Classes & Workshops
photo by Mark Saran
We offer boatbuilding classes for all abilities in all kinds of watercraft—sailboats, stitch & glue plywood kayaks, Scamps, surfboards, and more—from a number of different companies.
Portage Pram Online Build
Build a boat in your living room!
sponsored by Duckworks Boat Builders Supply and Turn Point Design
May 23-25 and 29-31 | 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Last day to register and order kit is May 13
Only 10 kits available
$1239 + $99 shipping
Above price includes access to interactive instruction portal, Pram kit, epoxy, wood flour filler, epoxy pumps, zip ties, fiberglass cloth, gloves, cups, mixing sticks, oarlock sockets and bronze oarlocks. Oars may be purchased separately from various sources.
You’ve been stuck in your house for a month, your children are monsters, your spouse is on your last nerve—and the dog wags her tail when you leave the room. The parks are closed, so are the bars, and if you have to wash your hands one more time you might scream a streak of sailory curses that would require you have to wash your mouth out too, and honestly you can’t spare the soap.
Sound familiar? Us too.
What better way to occupy two weekends than building the Portage Pram kit in your home, and under the virtual guidance of a professional boat builder. We’ll send you all the supplies you need, and then instructor Joel Arrington will build along with you in real time offering live-streamed instruction. In 6 days of 7-hour sessions (with a 1-hour break), Joel will answer your questions as he walks you through each step—from opening the kit box to preparing your boat for paint and launch day.
As a member of this online classroom you’ll be able to ask questions, see the details up close, verify your progress and get some encouragement and any necessary corrections. In the end you’ll own a lovely little boat you and your family can use to get out on the water—either together, or to escape being together.
“There is nothing, simply nothing, half as much worth doing as social distancing in a boat.”
–Probably someone recently
No experience required!
After a short setup session on May 22 from 5-6 pm, the class will run as a livestream from 10 am-5 pm PST on two weekends: May 23-25 and May 29-31. Joel will walk you through the step-by-step building process using only the tools and materials included in the kit. No experience or special tools required.
What you’ll need (the rest will come in the kit):
● A 9 x 6 space
● An internet connection
● A tablet, phone, or computer with a camera
● Approx a dozen spring clamps
● Flush cut saw/ Japanese saw
● Roller and covers 4ish
● Sand paper
● Drop cloth/tarp
● Masking tape
Classes will use Zoom (Live sessions will also be recorded for future reference).
Great for families—think of the applied mathematics you can justify as “school.”
You can also watch the live build online for free!
If you’re not ready to commit to the full course, that’s okay—you can watch the live stream for free. You just won’t have access to the interactive instruction portal. Sign up for our e-news and we’ll send you an email on May 23 with a link to watch the live build. Don’t worry, you can unsubscribe at any time.
The Boat: Portage Pram
“She does indeed track like a mine cart. Nice job getting this Pram kit together!”
The ultralight plywood Portage Pram is based on a much heavier traditional plank-on-frame pram designed back in the 1970s that consistently received rave reviews—both for its directional tracking and its smooth carry between oar strokes. The new Portage Prams maintain these virtues, but feature an incredible weight-to-capacity ratio, as the finished boats only weigh 35 pounds, but can comfortably carry two adults and gear.
Portage Prams have a number of unique features, including a long fore-and-aft bench seat (instead of the usual thwart) which, when combined with four different oarlock positions, allows for good trim regardless of size of crew or load.
Prefect for rowing, fishing, or towing (or stowing on deck) as a tender behind your larger boat—the versatile Portage Pram is likely to get more use than any boat you’ve owned. There’s even a sailing add-on kit in the works.