Boatwright Apprentice Program

The Boatwright in Residence Apprenticeship Program is focused on providing new wooden boatbuilders who have recently graduated from a wooden boatbuilding program the opportunity to hone their skills and network with the local industry in order to help jumpstart their careers.


In 2021, the Boatwright in Residence Apprenticeship Program will focus on completing the restoration of Pamela, a 21’ sloop rigged Blanchard Jr Knockabout (BJK) built in 1936 by the Blanchard Boat Company on Lake Union. CWB owns seven of these historic vessels, which constitute the organization’s core learn-to-sail fleet. This restoration began in 2019 with funding support by King County’s 4Culture and featured apprentices from a local high school, Gibson EK. That work focused on replacing cedar planking, caulking, re-bedding of keel, and deck repair. The remaining tasks include floor timber replacement, installing new steam-bent white oak frames, and building a new mast for the rig. The Apprentice Boatwright will lead this part of the project, with an opportunity to apply skills recently learned from a boatbuilding school.

Blanchard Junior Knockabout sailboat under restoration
A volunteer works on the bottom planking of a boat


CWB features four separate fully-outfitted boatshops for the restoration and construction of wooden boats. Two of these shops are located at the main campus in South Lake Union, where the restoration will take place. In 2018 the organization opened the Wagner Education Center which houses the new 1,000 square foot Bill Garden Boatshop. This increase in workshop space has greatly improved the organization’s ability to provide robust educational opportunities. Pamela will be restored in the historic Floating Boatshop, the organization’s very first building, idyllically located along the shore’s edge. 


The apprentice will work under the guidance of Josh Anderson, the Executive Director and graduate of the Apprenticeshop wooden boatbuilding school in Rockland, Maine; and Dustin Espey, the Lead Boatwright and graduate of the Landing School in Arundel, Maine. Mr. Espey is a 2018 participant in the Independence Seaport Museum’s Shipwright Apprentice Program which was funded by The RPM Foundation. He credits that opportunity as critical to boosting his confidence and resume in order to secure employment at The Center for Wooden Boats. 

The application process is now open. Inquiries can be sent to Find more detailed application information here.

We are excited to be able to offer our Boatwright Apprentice Program with support from the RPM Foundation. The RPM Foundation is an educational grant-making program of America’s Automotive Trust. The RPM Foundation safeguards the critical skills necessary to restore and preserve collector vehicles by supporting hands-on training and engaging the next generation of craftsmen and women.

Visit: for more information.

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