Owner and CEO John C. Harris manufactured some of the very first CLC kits in 1994. Long before that, he had a fascination with small boats and boatbuilding. He designed and built his first boat, a rowing shell, at age 14.
As a boatbuilder and designer, Harris’s work has been featured in almost every English-language paddling, sailing, and small boat publication, including WoodenBoat, Yachting World, Popular Mechanics, Sea Kayaker, Canoe and Kayak, Paddler, Soundings, Sailing, Cruising World, Classic Boat, Watercraft, and many more. Harris’s portfolio includes every wooden format, including strip-planking, cold-molding, carvel, lapstrake, and of course stitch-and-glue. He has taught at the esteemed WoodenBoat School in Maine since 1999, and has led scores of boatbuilding classes and workshops over the years.
As a business owner, Harris has been profiled in the Washington Post, Forbes FYI, the Washington Business Journal, Corridor Magazine, Soundings, the Baltimore Business Journal, the Baltimore Sun, and others. Chesapeake Light Craft has won many awards, including the Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year. John's interview on the podcast Mentor Impact gives a good overview of what makes CLC tick. Recently, Professional Boatbuilder Magazine and Chesapeake Bay Magazine featured CLC in cover articles.
In 2001, Harris wrote, co-produced, and starred in a series of television shows about boatbuilding for the DIY Network, which ran for several years. Also that year, he wrote and produced a one-hour boatbuilding video for CLC, which has received rave reviews and sold thousands of copies. In 2011, the History Channel aired an episode of "Modern Marvels" featuring boatbuilding at CLC. Chesapeake Light Craft has been featured on the Today Show and the Voice of America.
Harris’s boat design work ranges widely, from dinghies to a 28-foot power catamaran used for surf tours in Nicaragua. His CLC designs include the Chesapeake 14, Eastport Pram, Pax 18, Pax 20, Sport Tandem, Skerry, Chester Yawl, West River 18, John’s Sharpie, Passagemaker Dinghy, CLC SailRig MKII, Peace Canoe, San O’ paddleboards, Mbuli, Kaholo, Northeaster Dory, PocketShip, Madness the Proa, the Peeler Skiff, and many others.
John writes the blog, "The Life of Boats," here.
Does your paddling club, sailing club, scout troop, or woodworking guild host guest speakers? A polished and engaging public speaker, John has been informing and entertaining for 20 years with slide shows and seminars on boat design, boatbuilding, and the art of enjoying small boats. Inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
John is married to Kerry Miller Harris, a video producer. Together they spoil a baby daughter, Ella.