Stitch & Glue Boatbuilding with John Harris

Location: The WoodenBoat School, Brooklin, Maine
Dates: Sunday, July 21, 2019 - Saturday, July 27, 2019


Instructor:   John Harris

Tuition & Materials: 

Register through the
WoodenBoat School
beginning January 2.

Call 207-359-4651 for registration inquiries.

  • Tuition: $875

The “stitch and glue” method is the easiest way to build a boat, as tens of thousands of amateur boatbuilders will testify.  The approach, which emphasizes the use of epoxy adhesives and strategic fiberglass reinforcement combined with marine plywood, is ideal for first-timers.  But like so many things, it’s easy to do but hard to do WELL.  This class is about how to do it well.


The stitch and glue techniques date back to the advent of modern adhesives in the 1960’s.  The basic process involves prefabricated plywood parts, which are stitched together with loops of wire, then glued with epoxy to create rigid and seaworthy hulls.  The process dispenses with lofting, elaborate molds, and much of the complex joinery of traditional wooden boatbuilding. 

Boatbuilding Instructor John Harris
John Harris
While the method is beloved of amateurs, in recent decades professionals have seized on the method as a way to create beautiful free-form hull shapes with amazing strength and light weight.  While still benefiting from the speed and ease of stitch and glue boatbuilding, pros deploy sophisticated techniques that result in optimized structures and glittering finishes.

As the owner of Chesapeake Light Craft, John C. Harris has shipped 26,000 stitch-and-glue boat kits and built hundreds of boats in classes and in his own shop.  In this class, we’ll build an attractive,13'6" peapod of Harris’s design.  This traditional and popular design offers many opportunities to focus on the finer points of stitch-and-glue.  For example, perfectly hand-drawn fillets that look like they were molded in place, fast and clean fiberglass sheathing and reinforcement, and the use of advanced materials like peel-ply, high-performance foil construction, and hollow wood-epoxy spars.    

Whether you’re building your first boat, or looking to learn the advanced tricks that the professionals use to get “showboat” finishes, this one-week class will advance your abilities to work with wood, epoxy, and fiberglass.  The boat we build together will be raffled off at the end of the week to one lucky student!


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