Boatbuilding & Restoration

If you are looking for a career in Boatbuilding School In New England, IYRS is the school for you!

Boatbuilding & Restoration | Accredited 20 month program | Enrolls in September

Master the craft and fundamentals behind restoring, building, and finishing classic wooden boats.

The IYRS Boatbuilding & Restoration program will immerse you in the complete boatbuilding process where you’ll have the opportunity to learn from expert woodworkers and boatbuilders and work alongside fellow craftspeople. This program sets up students to thrive as master craftspeople in today’s job market. 

Experience the Boatbuilding & Restoration program


The first year focuses on the restoration of a traditional plank-on-frame wooden boat. Students will restore and launch a Beetle CatTM, executing every element from research and documentation to hull measurement, lofting, drafting and half-model making, all while developing essential teamwork and project management skills. The highlight of the first year is Launch Day when students launch and sail their newly restored Beetle Cats in Newport Harbor.


The second year offers a larger challenge: restoring legends of American yacht design including Lawley, Herreshoff, Alden, Hunt, Stephens, and others. During this year, students refine their craftsmanship skills, undertake project management of the restoration, and work in teams to achieve the important goal of restoring  a beautiful classic wooden yacht to the water.



Year One

The program begins with shop safety and tool and machine use. Students will progress from a series of bench projects designed to develop tool-use skills directly into the restoration of a Beetle Cat sailboat. In addition to the restoration work, students will measure a small boat, loft the lines, and create a scale lines plan and half model. Portfolio items completed by the end of the semester will include several small tools, a toolbox, a lines drawing, a half-model, and photo documentation of restoration projects. Subjects covered will include hull shape, lines drawings, and the fundamentals of wooden hull construction, materials and technology. Students will move on to develop full-size construction details on the lofting.

Following the lofting students will have a two week introductory course in the use of the CAD (computer aided design) program, Rhino. Project documentation techniques are introduced. Students continue the restoration of their project boat. Portfolio items for the second semester will include a second lines plan and construction drawings and photo documentation of restoration projects. Subjects covered will include hull shape and lines drawings, construction drawings, basic structural marine engineering, fundamentals of wooden hull construction and materials and technology.


All students complete an externship, facilitated through Career Development, at the conclusion of the first year. Through the externship, students apply the skills they've acquired in the shop to the workplace while gaining valuable business, resume-building, and hands-on experience:

  • Resume writing 
  • Industry research
  • Interviewing & professional communication
  • Application of craftsmanship & technical skills in a business environment
  • Relationship building with employers 

Learn more about the IYRS externship program here.

Year Two

The first term begins with a review of shop safety. The first week is dedicated to a course in hull survey and assessment resulting in student survey reports of selected vessels. The second week is dedicated to a course in project management. Included in the project management course are real time exercises in materials costing and procurement, labor estimates, business fundamentals, and contracts and customer relations. Students then begin the restoration of their second year project boat.

Project management and labor estimating are applied directly to the second year restoration project. During advanced lofting, students learn the techniques used to transfer the shape of the faired hull to patterns and molds used in the restoration of the subject boat. Students then focus on the restoration of the hull framework and planking. Students also focus on improving craftsmanship skills while incorporating project management skills. Portfolio items will include photographic documentation of restoration project, survey report, bill of materials, table of scantlings, labor estimate, contract agreement, and lines /construction plans.

multiple groups of students working on building wooden boats
a group of IYRS students working on a huge wooden group project
IYRS student using a hand saw to cut a piece of ply wood
a woman IYRS student using a machine to cut a piece of wood
IYRS Student hammering a nail into a hand crafted wooden boat
female student carving a wooden chair
close up of hands carving tiny embellishments into a wooden boat
close up up a work bench with various tools and utensils scattered
teacher showing a student how to correctly measure dimensions
wooden boat under construction with a Christmas orient hung from it
hands using a protractor to measure
2 students planning out their projects on their desks
wood shavings


  • Craftsmanship & Artistry
  • Hand & Power Tool Use
  • Woodworking Processes & Techniques
  • Shop Safety
  • Material Properties
  • Manual Drafting
  • Introduction to CAD
  • Lofting
  • Steam-bending
  • Plank-on-frame Restoration
  • Joinery
  • Photographic Documentation


  • Business Acumen
  • Project Management
  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Teamwork & Communication
  • Survey & Assessment
  • Time Management

At IYRS, you’ll go beyond boatbuilding to receive a comprehensive education in marine woodworking. By mastering traditional and contemporary boatbuilding skills, you’ll be ready to tackle any woodworking challenge, from fine furniture making to historic restoration and preservation to home construction.