Build Your Own Lapstrake Dinghy

Location: Chesapeake Light Craft - Annapolis, Maryland
Dates: Monday, October 16, 2023 - Saturday, October 21, 2023

This Class in Annapolis is offered by the WoodenBoat School; please register online starting January 2, 2023. Inquiries only to 207-359-4651 or

Instructor:  John C. Harris

Register through the WoodenBoat School

Call 207-359-4651 for inquiries.

Tuition & Materials:  

  • Student Tuition: $925
  • Each additional student: $450
  • Materials (kits and sailing components priced separately): 
    • Passagemaker Dinghy base kit: $1944
    • Passagemaker Sail (Sloop): $4062
    • Passagemaker Sail (Lug Rig): $3744
    • Eastport Pram base kit: $1445
    • Eastport Pram Sail (Lug Rig): $2875

    Other Considerations:

    Eastport Pram - Build Your Own Boat in One Week
    Eastport Nesting Pram
    Passagemaker Dinghy - Build Your Own Boat
    Passagemaker Dinghy - Build Your Own Boat

    The Passagemaker Dinghy is easy to build but looks great and performs beautifully. A smooth glide when rowing, spirited performance when sailing, and steady handling with an outboard mark this bestselling entry in our fleet of graceful build-it-yourself boat kits.  There is a take-apart version.

    Boatbuilding Instructor John C. Harris
    John C. Harris

    The Eastport Pram is one of the most popular small dinghies in the world, with more than 800 built.  The Eastport Pram is a boat that is as easy and satisfying to row and sail as you can expect on such a short waterline. Used as a tender to a larger boat, or kept at a dock, it's a near-perfect small boat.  A nesting version is available for ultra-compact storage.

    With the help of the instructor, each student will assemble his or her own dinghy from a Chesapeake Light Craft kit. The hull utilizes CLC's patented LapStitch construction method, in which stitch-and-glue techniques are used to create lapstrake hulls of traditional appearance. First, the hull planks are glued to length using scarf joints. The planks are wired together to create the hull shape, then bulkheads are inserted before the planks are neatly "welded" together with epoxy. The students reinforce the hull with fiberglass cloth and mahogany rails, then add the daggerboard trunk and seats. (The sailing rig is optional, but the class will proceed under the assumption that the boat will be used for both rowing and sailing.) As with all of our courses in which students build their own boat, this will be a busy week, so expect to spend a few evenings in the shop. By noon on Saturday you'll have an assembled hull, ready for sanding and sailing rig.

    Skills conveyed in the course include advanced epoxy and fiberglass techniques, basic marine carpentry, and an overview of what will be required to get your boat rigged and sailing. With a completed Passagemaker you can contemplate placid afternoons on the local lake, or a dream cruise on the Maine Island Trail. 

    Students can build any of these dinghies in class:

    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.