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Hull Raising in Hobart
Back in town 2025

In November 2024, Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding Lead Botbuilding Instructor, Sean Koomen, will join the Wooden Boat Centre in Tasmania, to lead students in constructing two wood sailing dinghies.

Sean has created a course where the dinghies will be built over a three-month period. Students will be able to participate in a comprehensive training program featuring most elements of the boat building process, from lofting and planking through to the application of paint and varnish.

The Sid Skiff, the design chosen to build, will be built of local timber. One
hull will be built utilizing traditional, carvel plank on frame construction, and the other will be built of wood composite, cold molded construction.

The program is a series of short courses combined, allowing students to enroll for the whole project or for specific elements. The dinghy will then be launched at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival, and then sold at auction.



Ensuring the traditional craft of wooden boatbuilding endures and remains a relevant part of contemporary maritime culture.


A biennial festival that celebrates the rich heritage, craftsmanship, and culture associated with wooden boats.


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Not Our First Rodeo

A team of alums from the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding (NWSWB) embarked on a unique journey, chosen to represent the USA at the 2019 MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival (AWBF) in Hobart, Tasmania.


Sponsored by various maritime organizations, including Admiral Ship Supply, Brooklin Boat Yard, Edensaw Woods, and others, the team embarked on a journey that transcended borders. The project garnered support not only from the local community but also from across the United States, reinforcing the collaborative spirit that defines traditional boatbuilding.

Lead Boatbuilding Instructor Sean Koomen, along with the team of alum boatbuilders, decided to construct a Haven 12½, Joel White’s centerboard version of the classic 12½ designed by Nat Herreshoff. The boat, a day sailor with intricate details, became a symbol of the evolution of American boat design over 150 years. The construction material was reclaimed celery-top pine donated by Hydrowood, a company with an innovative approach to harvesting trees drowned by hydro-electric dams in Tasmania over two decades ago. Tasmania shipwright and sawyer Dave Golding’s 150-year-old circular sawmill custom-milled the celery-top pine logs, creating a harmonious blend of timbers from around the world in the finished boat.

The team unveiled the finished boat during the 2019 Australian Wooden Boat Festival where it went up for live auction with proceeds contributing to the next boatbuilding team to showcase their skills.

For Ginny Wilson, freshly trained at the Boat School, the Hobart experience was magical. “I can’t imagine a better way to transition to the workplace than to travel as an ambassador of the school and participate in such an amazing event,” she exclaimed. The Haven 12½, with its intricate details and diverse wooden components, became a symbol not just of American boatbuilding but also of the camaraderie that transcends borders in the world of traditional craftsmanship.

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