Family Boat Building

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Your family can build this wonderful sailboat in just 3 days. Join us!

Family Boat Building Video

Boat Building Timeline

Application Period: Now accepting applications for Family Boat Building in May 2020!

Apply for 2020

Cost of Program: TBA for 2020. Cost includes all materials, instruction, and assistance required to build your own a 12ft Oyster River Cat sailboat. (2019 cost was $2,000 per family.)

Mandatory Intro Session: 2020 dates TBA. Typically the third Thursday in May (evening).

Build Dates: 2020 dates TBA. Typically the third weekend in May. (2019 dates were Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19.)


Family boat building is grounded in the belief that families and multi-generational groups will bond and grow together by completing a grand project together. In the past thirteen years, we have helped 72 families get on the water together and enjoy the experience of a lifetime. Participating families experience the joy and pride of watching a pile of lumber grow into a beautiful and useful boat through their own efforts. In the process, they grow as a family while they:

  • Develop woodworking and teamwork skills and
  • Learn about our marine heritage and the natural resources of our coastal and estuarine environment

In the spring of 2020, we will build the Oyster River Cat, a 12' sailboat. A professionally made sail is included. The marine plywood hull has a 5' beam that easily carries two adults or even three in light wind. She is equally adept as a row boat for calm days at the lake.

Age requirements: Each family must include at least one child age 12 or older. This program is not ideal for children younger than age 12 due to the attention span and physical work required; however exceptions have been made for eager, mature 10 and 11-year-olds. Multi-generational families, extended families, and single parents are encouraged to apply.

Questions? If you would like more information or want to be considered as a participant, please contact:

Mark Wiley
Assistant Director for Education
NH Sea Grant & UNH Cooperative Extension
mark.wiley@unh.edu
(603) 862-6702