| The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador(n)

Exhibits & Artifacts

Evolving Traditions: People, Place and Wooden Boats

Meet and hear from some of the people who build boats using skills and knowledge passed down through the generations. Explore how tradition and innovation shaped the small inshore fishing boats of Newfoundland and Labrador. This exhibit is a representation of Newfoundland and Labrador’s diverse boatbuilding heritage and provides a window into the character of the people and the places they belong.

They Came for the Fish and Stayed for the Stages

This exhibit tells the story of Newfoundland and Labrador’s salt cod fishery through a look at the places and spaces that supported this way of life across the Province. This exhibit describes how stages and flakes were used to process salt cod and includes photos and genealogical information that traces the history of fishing stages in Winterton back to the early twentieth century.

Boat Building Room

In our Boat Building Room visitors will learn how boat builders designed and constructed their wooden vessels. Our display of traditional tools found alongside a boat under construction demonstrates the various stages of boat construction and the skill required to complete the task. Visitors can test their own skills by rolling oakum and using a caulking iron and mallet to fill the seams between planks, a traditional method used by Newfoundland and Labrador boat builders.

Boat Shed

In our Boat Shed, the smell of fresh wood shavings fills the air. Watch as traditional and contemporary boat building methods are used to craft the small wooden boats of Newfoundland. Visitors have the opportunity to talk with our resident boat builder and interpretive staff as they work.

Life in a Fishing Community

The second floor of the museum showcases life in a fishing community. Here you will learn the stories of what it was like to grow up, live and work in one of Newfoundland’s fishing communities. Displays focus on agriculture, coopering, hunting, school life, and domestic life in an outport community.

The Society of United Fishermen: Caring for Community

Explore the story of the Society of United Fishermen, the only fraternal organization with roots in Newfoundland, just across the street at SUF Lodge #2. Formed in 1873 in Heart’s Content, the SUF worked to improve the lives of fishermen and their families in communities across the province for more than a century.

New! Activity Centre

Get hands-on in our new Activity Centre and take part in learning some traditional boat building and marine skills. Activities include the assembly of half-scale punt and dory skeletons, wooden punt design, coastal navigation, ship lines and rigging and more. 

Twillingate

Experience the story of Newfoundland and Labrador’s wooden boats with a more local focus. Visit St. Peter’s Parish Hall for exhibits and boat building demonstrations that showcase Twillingate’s rich boat building heritage. Offered in partnership with Isles Wooden Boat Builders Museum.