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Working Shipyard

CBMM’s Shipyard creates anew the tradition of a working waterfront. CBMM’s shipwrights and apprentices are a tangible connection to the Chesapeake’s rich story of boat building through:

From now through 2018, the log-hull restoration of the queen of our fleet, the 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood, takes place in full public view in the shipyard. Learn more at our dedicated website for the project here.

Shipyard staff interact with our guests, explaining their work and the boats for which the Chesapeake Bay is known. You will also find shipwrights and apprentices demonstrating maritime skills at our festivals and special events.

Donations to the Annual Fund generously support the restoration, education, and exhibition programs of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

Around the Boatyard - Making Spars

The Boat Builders of the Chesapeake Bay from Dave Cooper on Vimeo.

Learn more about Shipyard Education Programs »

Shipwright apprentices at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland

Shipwright Apprentice Program

Beyond restoration and public programming, the CBMM’s Shipyard is working to pass fading maritime skills on to a new generation of wooden boat builders. Our Apprentice Program provides one year apprenticeships to graduates of boatbuilding schools, so they can get on-the-job training and experience under the tutelage of master shipwrights. In addition to preserving historic vessels and passing on traditional maritime skills, our Boatyard Staff develop programs to engage our visitors.

The Chesapeake Bay shoreline was once home to scores of small shipyards where skilled shipwrights built and maintained hundreds of wooden vessels. These craftsmen not only supported the commercial growth of the Chesapeake, but they also passed along skills that had been refined over hundreds of years. Because most of these yards have vanished, and along with them, the skills and techniques of the builders, there is a deficit of proficient boat builders today.

CBMM’s Shipwright Apprentice Program is on-the-job training in the form of a professional apprenticeship which gives apprentices the opportunity to work on a wide variety of Chesapeake Bay indigenous watercraft. The program provides the skills and experience of a working shipyard and bridges the gap for those coming out of wooden boat building schools and programs. The majority of apprentices completing CBMM’s Shipwright Apprentice Program have taken jobs in the boat building or maritime industries, working in commercial shipbuilding yards or small boat yards around the Bay. Others have become shipwrights on large vessel construction projects and several are working in the maritime museum industry.

From the Daily Local News’ November 18, 2016 “Small Talk: Old-fashioned boat building is alive and well” column by Bill Rettew Jr.: “Several boat builders at the Seaport Museum told me that they’d learned and worked in St. Michaels. Scofield said that 46 former apprentices work all over the country.”

The Boat Shop at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland.
Requirements, Compensation & Application
Successful completion of an accredited boat building school is preferred, but applicants with related experience will be considered. Though not required, it is strongly suggested that applicants visit the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum campus.

Download: Shipwright Apprentice Application

Mail or fax your completed application to:

Michael Gorman, Shipyard Manager
213 N. Talbot Street
St. Michaels, MD 21663-0636
Phone: 410-745-4968
Fax: 410-745-6088