One day workshops take place on Saturdays during July and August and offer visitors the chance to take part in the construction of a Rodney. Originally built by Marcus French of Winterton, this Rodney was documented by folklorist David Taylor in the 1970s and is now being reconstructed from the information Mr French provided through oral history interviews, measurements collected in fieldwork and the moulds that have been preserved by the Museum.
Participants will play an active role in the construction of the Rodney while learning about Marcus French and intangible cultural heritage that surrounds the building and using traditional wooden boats.
Check back soon for our 2022 schedule.
Our Week-long Workshops offer an immersive boat building experience that teaches participants the skills required to build a boat of their own. The five day program addresses traditional and contemporary methods of boat design and construction, while exploring the rich heritage of wooden boats in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Participants will receive detailed instructions as they progress through each stage of building a 16’4″ Rodney originally designed and built by Marcus French of Winterton, Trinity Bay. Learn about traditional boat uses, designs and building techniques in Newfoundland and Labrador while actively constructing the backbone, placing moulds and battens, and shaping timbers and planks.
Check back soon for our 2022 schedule
Grand Banks Dory
Learn the skills and techniques required to build a 17′ Grand Banks Dory, based on traditional designs used in the Grand Banks Fishery. Participants will receive detailed instruction as they build a complete dory, progressing through each stage from the laying out the bottom, to installing frames, planks and finishing details.
Please check back soon for our 2022 schedule
In The Museum
WBMNL’s Junior Builders’ Program offers an age appropriate (ages 5-12) approach to learning about traditional boat building in Newfoundland and Labrador. Activities combine museum learning with hands-on practice to build team-work skills and develop an appreciation for local heritage.
Through interactive discussions and demonstrations, children
– The types of boats in Newfoundland and their uses
– The differences between a flat and round bottom boat
– The modern and traditional names for parts of the boat
– An explanation and demonstration on how a boat floats
– Traditional boat caulking using oakum
– Net knitting
In The Shed
Under the supervision of our boat builder, children will have the opportunity to learn about the boat building process.
The workshop begins with a small talk regarding safety and the importance of being careful when working with tools. Children are provided with safety goggles for the workshop and Museum staff are present to ensure continued safety throughout.
Children learn about traditions associated with launching a boat. This includes superstitions, compass directions, weather and songs.
Children are taught about traditional hand tools and have the opportunity to use a hand drill and a hand plane.
With our boat builder’s guidance, children work together to assemble a dory kit specifically developed for children ages 5-12
Children assemble a pre-cut sailboat and take a trip through a quiet community path to the slipway. (Please bring your rubber boots!) Each child takes home their model.
The workshop ends with a presentation of junior boat builder certificates to all participants.
Junior Builders Registration
Register your Junior Builder by filling out our registration form.Learn More
Why just observe, when you can create? In our five day workshop you will learn to build a traditional wooden boat through hands-on training and personalized instruction from our resident boat builder and master story teller. Spend five nights at a local B&B and let the ocean sing you to sleep as you breathe our crisp clean air after an enriching day in our sea side boat shed. This package includes full breakfasts and boxed lunches.
Begin your weekend getaway at a local B&B and let the ocean sing you to sleep as you breathe our crisp clean air. Spend Saturday in our boat building workshop in Winterton where our resident boat builder and master storyteller will provide hands-on instruction and interpretation of wooden boat building. On Saturday evening enjoy a delicious supper at Grates Cove Studio and enjoy Cajun-Newfoundland fusion cuisine after exploring rock wall gardens and outdoor sculptures throughout Grates Cove.
Become a Member and get 10% off of all workshop costs and museum merchandise!
Note: Double Occupancy (One Workshop) includes accommodations and meal at Grates Cove Studio for TWO PERSONS, but registration for ONE PERSON in our Saturday Workshop. To register two people for the workshop, please select Double Occupancy (Two Workshops).
Marcus French Rodney
Offered in partnership with Memorial University Faculty of Education, this intensive 12-week workshop provides details instruction as you progress through each stage of building a 16’4″ rodney originally designed and built by Marcus French of Winterton, Trinity Bay. Join boat builder Jerome Canning twice a week to learn about traditional boat uses, designs and building techniques in Newfoundland and Labrador while actively constructing the backbone, placing moulds and battens, and shaping timbers and planks.
Please contact Jim at (709) 682-0542 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our waitlist.