Boatbuilding & Restoration

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


Newsweek has named IYRS one of the Best Maker Schools in the world for 2021. Winners of this prestigious award are institutions of higher education that have curricula that encourages learning by doing; are supported by educators committed to collaborative problem-solving; have well-developed makerspaces, labs, and studios; and which support diverse, interactive communities that engage in knowledge and skill sharing. The award highlights institutions with innovative programs that demonstrate the ingenuity and community engagement that are hallmarks of the maker movement.

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 highly skilled 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.



IYRS provided extensive education in all things related to working on wooden boats; from lofting to planking and from fine joinery to project management. It allowed me to enter the wooden boat community with not only the theory, but the handson experience necessary to build, repair, and restore traditional wooden boats and yachts.”

Come Inside a Day in the Life of John Gaffney '17, Wooden Boatbuilder

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

Recent Employers

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.

Take a virtual tour of IYRS!