Current Projects

Cruiser Olympia Skylights

Commenced: Fall 2016

Being of Victorian design and lacking air conditioning, Cruiser Olympia was built with a series of wooden skylights to provide ventilation and natural light to key areas of the crew living spaces - especially for officers.The original 124-year old skylights are currently being restored back to functioning order. These beautifully made skylights will not only improve the visitor experience, but will also provide their original function of ventilating key spaces on the ship during the hot summer season. A total of four original skylights will be restored. 


19' Big Ben Garvey - SAILOR STEM Program 

Commenced: Fall 2017

This is the 7th consecutive year for the SAILOR STEM Boatbuilding Program and the 1st year students have constructed a boat of this size. Each year, our SAILOR students come from local public and charter schools in Philadelphia to experience hands-on traditional boatbuilding from start to finish. We begin the program with basic fundamentals of boat Physics from the Archimedes Principle to the Science of Sailing, and work our way up to tool safety and the advanced Mathematical skill of Lofting to teach the students orthographic drawing techniques. After they've experienced these background pieces to the boatbuilding process, they are ready to get their hands into the Engineering and Art of wooden boatbuilding, creating something tangible and functional out of what was a pile of rough sawn lumber. 

The 19' Big Ben Garvey is a v-bottom garvey with bow and stern transoms, along with a 40 horsepower outboard motor. Our students are constructing this with traditional plank on frame techniques, mahogany on oak. Since this is the first time we have built a motorboat in the program, the students will have a chance to help with the engine install and systems work. The boat will have forward and aft seating, along with a center console for a capacity of 10 passengers. Garveys are traditionally designed  to be workboats, and this one will follow that tradition supporting the Museum's various needs in the basin and on the Delaware River. 

For more information about the SAILOR Program, please contact Olivia Thomas, Director of Education at or 215-413-8630. 

MisLeading Lady

Commenced: Ongoing since, Fall 2013

MisLeading Lady is a Ventor Runabout, built in Ventnor, NJ in 1926. Owned by George Wimburg, the Workshop on the Water has committed to restoring her to original integrity.

For more information on MisLeading Lady, go to