Build Your Own Paddlecraft

Location: Northwest Maritime Center, Port Townsend, Washington
Dates: Saturday, May 13, 2023 - Friday, May 19, 2023

Register online through 
Northwest Maritime Center

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

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 and Sam Trocano

Tuition & Materials:  

Other Considerations:

Kaholo SUP - Build Your Own Boat in One Week
Kaholo Stand-up Paddleboards
Wood Duck - Build Your Own Boat in One Week
Wood Duck 14 Recreational Kayak - Build Your Own Boat
Shearwater Sport - Build Your Own Boat in One Week
Shearwater Sport Sea Kayak

In this one-week class, you will build your choice of a Kaholo Stand-Up Paddleboard or a Shearwater or Wood Duck sea kayak.

Kaholo builders may choose either a 12-1/2-foot or 14-foot Kaholo paddleboard. It took more than five years for the team at Chesapeake Light Craft to develop the Kaholo designs, boards with that rare quality of being fast enough to race but stable enough for first-timers. Tracking is great and a narrow nose with kayak-derived shaping lifts the Kaholos up and over waves. The 14 is better for larger paddlers, 190lbs or more (or those who might carry along dogs or small kids). The 12-6 is more compact, best for smaller-statured paddlers, and it fits in several increasingly popular racing classes. There are no other SUP boards in the world that are easier for a first-time boatbuilder.

One of the most popular kayaks CLC has ever offered, the Shearwater is an elegant, performance-oriented touring kayak. The "tumble home" sheer panel reduces windage and improves paddle clearance. The Shearwater features CLC's trademark cambered deck. The West Greenland style hard-chined hull has naturally easy and controllable handling for the skilled paddler and comfortable stability for the newer paddlers. The hull shape ensures good tracking even in windy and rough conditions.

Compact, easy-to-launch boats just seem to get used the most. In a tenth of the time it takes to launch a heavy boat on a trailer or drag the big canoe down the lawn, you can slide one of these little kayaks into the water and be on your way. Keep your Wood Duck on top of the car, ready to toss into all the interesting creeks in your county. CLC commissioned Eric to draw and prototype the Wood Duck line to our specifications. Eric had a huge hit with his Shearwater kayak designs, also designed for CLC as fast sea kayaks. We think he has another huge hit on his hands with these fun, good-looking recreational kayaks that anyone from age 8 to age 80 can enjoy on the water. 

Starting from a computer-cut Chesapeake Light Craft kit, you’ll build your paddlecraft stitch-and-glue style. Okoume plywood panels are joined to form the Kaholo's shape, and the interior reinforced with a grid of aircraft-like frames for stiffness and light weight. Epoxy and fiberglass add strength and durability. Proper deck pads and carrying handles are included. You may add whimsical decoration to your board, such as Hawaiian fabrics beneath the fiberglass. There are many SUPs, but the one you built yourself will be absolutely unique. Shearwaters and Wood Ducks also start with pre-cut plywood parts; the hull and deck of the kayak are assembled using copper wires and epoxy glue. Builders will then cut hatches, fiberglass the boat and install the cockpit coaming. After the class, your boat will be ready to sand and paint or varnish.

Note:  Boat kits for classes are ordered through Northwest Maritime Center and specially prepared at CLC and delivered directly to the classroom.  These kits include extra 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.