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Boatshop offers its first skiff-building ‘scholarship;’ school supplies include a hammer and saw

The Gig Harbor BoatShop turns 10

In this October 2018 file video, the Gig Harbor BoatShop, a non-profit organization devoted to continuing boat-building traditions and the maritime lifestyle, enters its tenth year.
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In this October 2018 file video, the Gig Harbor BoatShop, a non-profit organization devoted to continuing boat-building traditions and the maritime lifestyle, enters its tenth year.

Gig Harbor BoatShop is offering the first-ever scholarship to its popular Family Boat Building Program. The scholarship is designed to promote youth empowerment and development, team building, and woodworking skills by providing a family or team with the opportunity to build a boat together.

The scholarship is funded by The Baker Foundation and by support from individuals and businesses.

The BoatShop developed the Family Boat Building Program in 2011. A family or a team of people work together to build a 12-foot rowboat in just two days. All tools, materials, and instruction to build a Salt Bay Skiff are provided. Each team is assigned a coach who provides instruction and guidance throughout the two-day build. Builders get to take home their boat after a ceremonial launch and row on Gig Harbor Bay.

The Salt Bay Skiff is a 12-foot rowboat designed in 2007 for Wood Boat magazine as an easy-to-build introduction to boatbuilding. It requires only two sheets of marine-grade plywood, some smaller lumber for seats and fittings, glue and screws. With the addition of a mast and a leeboard, it can be rigged as a sailboat. It takes its name from a bay in Maine.

Consistently in high demand, Family Boat Building program spaces are often booked months in advance

.Boatshop leaders say participants learn skills applicable to many areas of their lives — collaboration, leadership, problem solving, teamwork, and goal setting.

A ceremonial launch on Sunday afternoon is a festive conclusion to the weekend.

The scholarship is open to families or teams consisting of four to six people, including two to four youths age 12 or older and two adults. Teams do not need to be “families,” and may consist of students, teachers, guardians, colleagues, etc.

The Boatshop is a community-operated nonprofit in the historic Eddon Boatyard on the Gig Harbor waterfront. Formed in 2008 as part of a community effort to save the boatyard from demolition, it celebrated its 10th anniversary last year.

Applicants for the single scholarship must be available to participate in the program on October 12-13, 2019. Applications are due September 20, 2019. Potential applicants are invited to drop by the Family Boat Building program at the BoatShop, 3805 Harborview Drive, on September 14 and 15, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to see the program in action

A sample of a finished Salt Bay Skiff is frequently on display in front of the BoatShop during dry weather. Additional program details are available at gigharborboatshop.org/family-boatbuilding or by contacting the BoatShop at (253) 857- 9344.

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