Have all of your 2017 classes been posted?
Many have been posted. Watch for more coming, especially from Michigan! Expect the mix of classes and locations in 2017 to resemble 2016's offerings.
Why should I take a class?
95% of CLC boat kits are built at home by folks like you. However, a class will get you through construction with a professional boatbuilder hanging over your shoulder. You enjoy the fun---and extra hands---of a group setting. You get the convenience of starting and completing major assembly in just one week. You'll have lavishly equipped shops at your disposal. Not only will you walk away with a boat, you'll have gained skills that will allow you to tackle a more ambitious boatbuilding project. Trust us---once you've built one boat, you'll need to build another!
How long are the boatbuilding classes?
Classes last five-and-a-half days, beginning at 8am on Monday and ending at noon on Saturday.
What are the hours?
Classes start at 8 in the morning and end between 5 and 6 in the evening, with an hour off for lunch. Some days might run longer, particularly the Tuesday in stitch-and-glue classes. (Hull assembly day!)
How much do you get done in a week?
Whether you're building a kayak or a bigger boat, results are about the same: you will get major assembly done in the course of the week, including fiberglass work. Sailboats will require assembly of components like rudders and spars at home. In all cases, final finishing work---sanding, varnishing, painting, and final fit-out, will take place at home. We go as fast as we can during the week, consistent with professional-quality boatbuilding work. Some of the kayaks (Wood Ducks, for example) are finished enough for a quick paddle at the end of the class, but you'll still need to apply varnish and other bits.
Where are the classes held?
Most of our classes are held at our factory classroom in Annapolis, Maryland, at the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine, or at the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle, Washington. Several additional classes are scheduled at the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarhurst, Michigan, and at other locations.
How skilled do I need to be to take a class?
All classes are adapted to first-time boatbuilders with little or no woodworking experience. It will be challenging, but we won't let you falter or do crummy work. Even pros will be challenged---every class we teach has a variety of backgrounds and skillsets.
Who can take a class?
All are welcome---you just need to be willing to learn. Most students are adults. Children accompanied by a parent or guardian should be 10 or 12 or older and possess a good attention span. Unaccompanied kids should be 16 or older with good focus and work ethics. All students should be ready for a very busy week of between 45 and 60 hours of physical labor. Not in the US? We've hosted students from at least five continents over the years. In fact, it's rare not to have someone from overseas in one of our classes.
How physically fit do I need to be?
Building a boat in a week requires persistent physical labor, averaging 8-9 hours per day Monday-Friday and 4 hours on Saturday. We host students of every age and background, but everyone should expect to be standing and working with their hands for a full week. Because of the light weight of our designs there is little, if any, heavy lifting.
Can more than one person work on one boat?
Absolutely. We encourage assistants, pairs, and teams. Assistants will pay a reduced tuition for the week, typically $400-$450 each.
How much does a class cost?
You'll cover the boat kit---prices available in our catalog---and pay tuition. Tuition runs from $800 to $850 per week, depending on the class. In nearly every case you don't have to order the boat kit separately. It's a package deal, and your specially-prepared boat kit will be waiting for you when you show up for the first day of your class.
How do I sign up for a class?
Not all CLC classes are booked by CLC. Many of our classes are administered by other organizations, including the WoodenBoat School. Depending upon the class, you'll sign up and pay either through CLC, through WoodenBoat, or possibly another party. We recognize that this can be a little confusing. The thing to do is to click on the class that you want to take, and on that page we'll tell you who to contact to sign up for the class. If you have questions about any CLC class, please contact us!
Where do I stay while taking a boatbuilding class?
If you're taking a class at the WoodenBoat School, you can stay at their wondrous on-site bed-and-breakfast style student facility. (You'll pay room and board in addition to the boat kit and tuition.) Students in Annapolis or other locations will avail themselves of abundant nearby beds-and-breakfasts (many are within walking distance). Camping is available on-site at the WoodenBoat School and offsite at other locations. We'll make recommendations for Annapolis and Seattle.
Can I build any boat I want in the class?
Teaching several different boat designs at once in the same classroom is more than any instructor can manage. You cannot, for example, build an Oxford Shell in a Chesapeake Kayak class. You may, however, build a Chesapeake 18 in a Chesapeake 17LT class, or a Shearwater 14 in a Shearwater 17 class. You'll need to let us know well in advance! Contact us with any questions about this.
I already have one of your kits. Can I bring the kit to your class?
With difficulty. You'll need to talk it over with the instructor. CLC class kits are different than those sold and shipped individually. While you will go home with the same boat at the end, it doesn't start as the same boat kit that consumers receive at home. There are many tweaks in kits destined for classes, not the least of which is that many parts are already assembled to full-length before the class begins. Since it's very important for students to start and finish each step in sync with the class syllabus---or risk falling behind---someone starting from a different pile of parts is going to be out of sync. Again, you'll need to discuss it with the instructor.
How do you choose which boats are offered in classes?
There is variation every year, but we focus on the most popular models. We offer the largest variety we can. Some boats for which we've received class inquiries - for example PocketShip - simply have too many steps for the 5-1/2 day class schedule. We focus on boats that we can build in a tightly choreographed week.
How will I get my boat home?
You'll need to arrange to leave with your boat on the last day of the class. None of our locations have the space to store your boat. All CLC class boats may be cartopped, given sturdy roof racks. Trailers are also an option but should be on hand before class begins. Shipping IS available: We've shipped boats home to places as diverse as France and Alaska. Shipping an assembled boat will be costly, and there's always the risk of damage en route, so your own cartop or trailer is the preferred means of conveyance.
Who teaches the boatbuilding classes?
Classes are taught only by professional boatbuilders - between classes they are building wooden boats full-time. We require that our instructors have a specialty in the boat that they're teaching, and they must have taught classes before. They are familiar with the one-week syllabus and have worked with every skill level, and they have to be fun to spend a week with.
If you need to cancel:
Students who cancel 30 days or less before the class begins will not receive refunds.
If we need to cancel:
In the event of an emergency or a lack of registrations, Chesapeake Light Craft reserves the right to cancel classes and refund all tuition and boat kit money. Because of this policy, we strongly urge you to buy refundable airline tickets or flight insurance. Chesapeake Light Craft will not be responsible for any loss on nonrefundable airline tickets. Barring a serious emergency (it's never happened), the only reason we'd cancel is a lack of registrations for the class. In this case we will cancel the class 30 days before the class begins.