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Boat Building Course


Pygmy Kayak/SUP Building Classes


Florida | Maine | Ohio | Oregon | Texas | Washington | Class Details | Videos


We have partnered with boat shops across the country to offer these kayak and SUP building classes for people who want to learn how to build a beautiful Pygmy craft from experienced builders. Our courses are set in a fun group setting and provide a great, hands-on opportunity to learn how to assemble a wooden kayak/SUP from trained professional boat builders. The classes we have currently scheduled are listed below, alphabetically by state. Please note that tuition varies depending on the shop. In addition to the tuition, students will need to purchase the kayak kit they will be constructing during the class and pay shipping for locations other than Port Townsend.  For questions regarding which model is appropriate for you, please contact Pygmy Boats: 360-385-6143.


Kayak Classes: Over the six day course students will complete major assembly of their kayaks. At the conclusion of the class your kayak will be ready to be car-topped home, where the final construction steps and varnish application will be completed (see class details for more information, including a photographic blog of day to day steps).


SUP Classes: Over the six day course students will complete major assembly of the 11' All-Rounder SUP. The SUP will be about 80% complete at the end of the class: All panels will be assembled and exterior seams epoxied. The student will epoxy in the plastic fin box and do the exterior fiberglassing at home, which comes to about 15 hands-on hours at home, not including varnish. Currently the only SUP building class available is in Oregon.




The Columbia River Maritime Museum is located on the water in the historical, waterfront town of Astoria, OR. Class size is 4 builders. To Register, call the Columbia River Maritime Center: (503) 325-2323. Tuition: $800 for primary student, $200 for student helpers
Meet the Instructor


October 7 - 13, 2019: Any Solo Kayak Model, space available
December 9 -15, 2019: Any Solo Kayak Model, space available


Where to Stay: Poised at the mouth of the Columbia River, Astoria is rich in maritime history. For more information on the town, including visitor maps, restaurants and places to stay, visit:




These courses take place at the Northwest Maritime Center, located on the water in Port Townsend, Washington just across the marina from Pygmy's showroom. To register call us at (360) 385-6143, 10am-5pm (Pacific Time) Monday-Saturday. Class size is 6 builders. Tuition: $800 for primary student, $200 for student helpers


October 14th-20th, 2019: Any Solo Kayak Model, Space Available
November 11th-17th, 2019: Any Solo Kayak Model, Space Available

Where to Stay: Port Townsend, WA is a beautiful, historic seaport town. There are several hotel and bed & breakfast options to choose from for accommodations. For a listing of hotels and dining please visit:



The Apalachicola Maritime Museum is located on the water in the historic town of Apalachicola, FL. The museum is dedicated to preserving the maritime history in a hands-on learning environment with boat building and educational programs. Class sizes are small and intimate (2 builders/class). To register call us at (360) 385-6143. Tuition: $750 for primary student, $200 for student helpers.

Check Back Soon For More Dates!


Where to Stay: There are a number of great B&B's and small hotels in Apalachicola: the Gibson Inn and the River Inn are within easy walking distance of the musuem. The Coombs House B&B is about 6 blocks from the museum and the Blue Moon Inn is right across the street. Some people choose to rent a house or stay in a hotel or condo on St. George Island, a 15 - 20 minute drive from the museum.  For a complete list of dining and places to stay, visit:




This class is offered in an intimate setting in South Berwick, Maine at Bill Thomas' Private Boat Shop. Class size is 2-3 builders. Tuition includes a homecooked lunch. To register, contact Pygmy Boats at (360) 385-6143. Tuition: $950/student and $250 for student helpers (tuition includes lunch for 6 days). Meet the Instructor

Check Back Soon For More Dates!


Where to Stay: Ogunquit is about 4 miles from Bill's shop and has over 2400 hotel rooms, many of which are right on the water. For a complete list of dining and accommodations visit: 



Farley Boat Works is a historical boat shop re-established and operated by the Port Aransas Museum a non-profit organization. The mission of the Boat Works is to carry on the tradition of wooden boat building in Port Aransas. It is operated as a boat building school and working museum. Class size is 4 builders. To register, sign up online here or contact Frank Coletta: (210) 218-9961 or Tuition: $750 for primary students, no additional charge for student helpers


Check Back Soon For More Dates!


Where to Stay: Contact the Port Aransas Museum to learn about lodging packages available for students attending this class.



Canoe and Kayak Magazine covered one of our classes in both their print edition and online, complete with some fantastic videos and interviews (see below). Click here to read the article online.

  • WoodenBoat Workshop Day 1 WoodenBoat Workshop Day 1
  • WoodenBoat Workshop Day 2 WoodenBoat Workshop Day 2
  • WoodenBoat Workshop Day 3 WoodenBoat Workshop Day 3
  • WoodenBoat Workshop Day 4 WoodenBoat Workshop Day 4
  • WoodenBoat Workshop Day 5 WoodenBoat Workshop Day 5
  • WoodenBoat Workshop Day 6 WoodenBoat Workshop Day 6
  • WoodenBoat Workshop Day 7 WoodenBoat Workshop Day 7



Class Details


Daily Schedule
Classes are given over a six day period, each day beginning at 9 am and running until about 5 pm. The first couple of days can sometimes take longer and can run until 6:30-7:00 pm. The seventh day is reserved for pick-up of the kayak in the morning so it is really only a half day. Students will enjoy expert instruction and the use of an equipped shop space. Click here to see a photo blog of each day of the kayak building classes.


Tuition cost varies depending on the boat shop and is noted in the schedule above. For all classes a $200 deposit is required up front to reserve a place in the class and is non-refundable and non-transferable to other class dates and locations. In addition to the tuition students need to purchase the kit they will be constructing during the class.  For kit pricing click here: Price list.  If the class is taking place outside of Port Townsend, WA, students will also be responsible for the shipping costs. Please note, each student's kit will be prepped in advance for each class. The prep work required precludes students from bringing their own previously purchased kit with them to a class.  


Having trouble deciding which kayak to build? Call us: (360) 385-6143. We train our staff to listen to your boating needs and help determine which craft will best suit your body size, skill and outdoor adventure desires.


Tools to bring
It is best for students to work with their own tools during class. Tools you should bring with you include the following (to see an image of the tool click on the tool name):

If you have any questions about the required tools please give us a call: (360) 385-6143


Getting Your Boat/SUP Home:
Your kayak/SUP will be ready to car-top back to your home shop at the conclusion of the class.  Be sure your vehicle is capable of securely transporting a kayak, and that you have straps, padding and line available (NRS kayak blocks work well for padding). Pygmy Boats and the boat shop you are building your kayak/SUP in will not be able to store it for you, or provide shop space for you to complete construction. Some boat shops do rent space but such arrangements would need to be made with them in advance.


Completing Your Kayak:
At the conclusion of class you will have completed several of the major construction steps required to assemble your Pygmy kayak, but you will still have some work to do before you can start paddling.  It is suggested that you have an indoor or covered work space available to complete the final steps of construction. You will likely have gained all the skill and confidence you will need to complete construction of your boat without further assistance. However, if you do have questions while working at home our expert construction advisers are available to assist you by phone or e-mail. Please do not hesitate to call us with questions. (360) 385-6143. We encourage it.


Payment Schedule:
At the time of registration, a deposit of $200 will be charged (unless otherwise noted). This deposit is non-refundable and non-transferrable. Approximately 8 weeks prior to the class start date, the remainder of the tuition and boat kit fees, plus shipping if applicable will be charged. For classes outside of Port Townsend, kits will need to be shipped well in advance so they can be prepped for the class.


If You Need to Cancel:
Please notify us right away if you need to cancel. If you cancel, your class tuition will be refunded minus the $200 deposit. We will also refund the price of your kit purchase at any time before we have started gluing your panels together (usually about two to four weeks prior to the class, depending on the location of the class). After we have started gluing your kit together we will not refund your kit price. You are, of course, welcome to come and pick up your kit and the full-length panels. If we have shipped your kit to another location for a class you may either pick up the kit there or, if they have not yet started gluing the kit together, you can pay the return shipping fee plus a $75 re-box fee.


If We Need to Cancel:
Pygmy Boats Inc. reserves the right to cancel a class in the event of emergency or low registration. If we cancel a course you will be refunded all of your tuition and boat kit money including the deposit.















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