Build Your Own Expedition Wherry

Location: Northwest Maritime Center, Port Townsend, Washington
Dates: Saturday, April 16, 2022 - Sunday, April 24, 2022

This Class in Port Townsend, WA, is offered by the Northwest Maritime Center; for registration and class inquiries, please call 360-385-3628 x300 or email

Instructor:  Joel Arrington

Register online through 
Northwest Maritime Center

For more information about this class, call or email:
360-385-3628 x300

Tuition & Materials:  

  • Studen Tuition: $925/Member,  $975/Non-Member

  • Plus Kit & Materials:

Other Considerations:

Expedition Wherry - Build Your Own Boat in One Week
Expedition Wherry - Build Your Own Boat
Expedition Wherry - Build Your Own Boat
Expedition Wherry
In this week-long course, each student will build an Expedition Wherry from a Chesapeake Light Craft kit. This fast, shapely wherry is intended for serious sliding-seat rowers who are looking for open-water ability and enough payload for camp-cruising. 

Most of the boat is decked in, with only a small "sump" area beneath the oarsman's heels to gather bilge water. An optional Elvstrom-type bailer can dispose of any water that gathers there.  There are four separate watertight compartments, all accessible through hatches for gear storage.  The boat has enough stability, and the compartments provide enough buoyancy, that it's possible to climb back into the cockpit after a capsize, bail out, and continue on your way. Watch the video here.
The Expedition Wherry is made of 6mm okoume plywood with 9mm okoume plywood frames, thwarts and flotation tanks. Outwales, breasthook and quarter knees are solid mahogany.
The boat is built using the LapStitchTM construction technique. Traditional lapstrake boatbuilding employs molds over which planks are nailed or riveted together. By using precision-rabbeted, computer-cut plank shapes and frames which double as molds, a CLC LapStitch kit boat is wired together just like a stitch-and-glue kayak. When glued with small epoxy fillets, the planks create a stiff and strong hull that will last for fifty years.
The precut hull planks are scarfed together, and then connected to the frames and each other with copper wire stitches, then fixed in place with epoxy fillets. Next come thwarts, knees, wales, and air tanks. Fiberglass cloth on the bottom inside and out provides abrasion resistance.

What is it like to build an Expedition Wherry in one week?  

Check out the video:
Watch an Expedition Wherry timelapse

The instructor will discuss the proper way to sand and paint or varnish the boat. Sliding seat units may be purchased at Chesapeake Light Craft.
At the end of an absorbing week, students will have learned about stitch-and-glue basics, including epoxy work, fiberglassing, and laminating. Building a LapStitch boat is easy, but assembling an 18' boat in a week means a tight schedule, and you'll be spending plenty of time in the shop.
Note:  Boat kits for classes are specially prepared at CLC and delivered directly to the classroom. These kits include essential supplies and may have certain parts pre-assembled.  Because of the particular nature of these kits, discounts and other promotions do not apply. Kit shipping fees and tax will be applied at checkout.