Build Your Own Chester Yawl

Location: Chesapeake Light Craft - Annapolis, Maryland
Dates: Monday, November 4, 2024 - Saturday, November 9, 2024

This Class in Annapolis is offered by the WoodenBoat School; please register online. Inquiries only to 207-359-4651 or [email protected].

Register through the
WoodenBoat School

Call 207-359-4651
for inquiries.

What is it like to build a CLC Boat in one week?  Watch: 

Instructor:   Andrew Schroeher

Tuition & Materials: 

Other Considerations:


Andrew Schroeher

Boats like the Chester Yawl were used as working craft in 19th-century.  Efficiency was critical in these human powered craft, so they evolved easily-driven hull shapes.  Working watermen weren’t immune to good looks, either, so these “livery boats” were often beautiful.  The most famous of the type, the Whitehall boats of New England, are still considered a touchstone of small craft elegance.  The Chester Yawl is based on the Whitehall and adopts its distinctive plumb bow and “wineglass” transom.

Chester Yawl

Chester Yawl

Chester Yawl

chester yawl

Chester Yawl

This LapStitch™ design's long, graceful sweeps of plank are strikingly beautiful, and performance is glittering. Designer John Harris as often described it as his favorite stitch-and-glue boat of all time. At 15’ long, the Chester Yawl is about the right size for easy trailering (or even cartopping), and the payload of 450 pounds means that two or three adults may safely set out for a picnic or even a camping trip.  Although 30 inches shorter than our Annapolis Wherry, the Chester Yawl has nearly twice the volume and a lot more freeboard for handling waves.  For casual single and tandem rowing, we do not believe there is a better build-your-own-boat kit than the Chester Yawl.

With the help of an expert instructor, each student will assemble his or her own Chester Yawl from a Chesapeake Light Craft kit. The hull employs CLC's patented LapStitchTM  construction method, in which stitch-and-glue techniques are used to create lapstrake hulls of traditional appearance. The computer-cut planks are wired together to form the hull, then "welded" with epoxy. The students reinforce the hull with fiberglass cloth and mahogany rails. 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 finish work.

Over the course of the week students will acquire advanced epoxy and fiberglass techniques, perform basic marine carpentry, and go home with the knowledge needed to get the boat rigged and sailing. Many builders will tow this fine little boat as a tender, but even more will build her for leisurely sailing and rowing alongshore.  

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