Workshop on the Water

Independence Seaport Museum's boat shop, Workshop on the Water, is dedicated to the skills and traditions of wooden boat building and sailing in the Delaware Valley and the New Jersey shore. Visitors to the Seaport Museum can interact with the boat builders as they work on various projects. The Workshop on the Water builds and restores privately-owned vessels as well as maintaining the Museum's own boat collection.

Classes

Metal Forging October 26-27, 2019

Throughout history, forging has been one of the cornerstones of human development. As it relates to boat and ship construction, the smith and their forge play a key role in the smallest nail and the broadest axe. The ability to forge hardware and cutting tools has taken us from forming a basic log canoe with crude stone tools and fire to the most complex British ship of the line. Join us on Saturday, October 26 or Sunday, October 27 for a daylong introduction to an age-old trade where you will gain the knowledge and skill necessary to forge metal on your own. Materials and necessary tools are included. Maximum capacity of 4 students.

Maritime Carving November 23-24, 2019

For thousands of years, ships have been adorned with hand-carved artwork. From invoking a sense of fear in battle to identifying a vessel, or even just for decoration; these works of art served many purposes and can be still be found on many ships today.  Join us for this daylong introduction to an age-old trade where you will gain the knowledge and skill of hard-carved maritime artwork.

Ticket information available soon.

Boatbuilding 101 Stay tuned for Winter 2020 dates!

Learn the traditional methods of how to build a wooden boat in Boatbuilding 101. The area's finest teaching craftspeople will show you the skills of lofting, mold making, steam bending, stem carving, planking techniques, and more, equipping each student with the knowledge and ability to build a wooden boat on their own.  

One of the only adult boatbuilding education programs in the Philadelphia area, the class takes place in our renowned Workshop on the Water over the course of four separate sessions. Maximum capacity of up to 8 students. A one-year individual Independence Seaport Museum Membership is included with all Boatbuilding 101 registrations. 

 Metal Casting 101 Stay tuned for Spring 2020 dates!

Unearth the basics of how to cast objects from various types of metals in Metal Casting 101 at Independence Seaport Museum. Students will create their own pattern from scratch, pour molten metal, and take home their very own piece of hardware. The course will focus mostly on the use of casting as hardware for boats but skills can be applied in many ways to other functions. Maximum capacity of up to 6 students.  

Metal Casting 101 takes place over the course of one weekend in our Workshop on the Water.   

Volunteering

Volunteers at the workshop work alongside our professional crew maintaining, restoring and building traditional boats. We have work for all skill levels and are open seven days a week. The easiest way to get started is to simply stop by. You can also call 215-413-8638 or email to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

Want to volunteer in our Workshop on the Water? Contact Dave Dormond, Workshop on the Water Educator, at ddormond@phillyseaport.org or 215-413-8685.