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Boat Building Course


Pygmy Kayak Building Classes


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


We have partnered with boat shops across the country to offer kayak building classes for people who want to learn how to build a beautiful Pygmy wood kayak 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 kayak from trained professional boat builders. 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). 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 need to purchase the kayak kit they will be constructing during the class.  For questions regarding which model is appropriate for you, please contact Pygmy Boats: 360-385-6143.



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. To register call us at (360) 385-6143. Tuition: $750 for primary student, $200 for student helpers.


August 3rd-9th, 2015: Any Solo Kayak Model, 1 Spot Available


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:


New! Maine

New in 2015 Pygmy kayak building classes will take place in two locations in Maine. One course will be held at the esteemed WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine. The other will be offered in a more intimate setting in South Berwick at Bill Thomas' Private Boat Shop (this class is now underway!). Bill will be teaching both classes. Meet the Instructor


WoodenBoat School: September 13th-19th, Pinguino 145 Space Available

Tuition: $800 for primary student, $400 for student helpers.

To register, contact the WoodenBoat School directly, however, registration is not open until January 2nd, 2015: (207) 359-4651


New! Ohio

New for 2015, build a Pygmy kayak in a class with experienced instructors in the historic town of Marietta, OH. To register call us at (360) 385-6143, 10am-5pm (Pacific Time) Monday-Saturday. Tuition: $800 for primary student, No student helper fee

Meet the Instructors


August 16th-23rd: Any Solo Kayak Model, Space Available

October 25th - November 1st: Any Solo Kayak Model, Space Available


Where to Stay: Marietta is a quiet, historic town located at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers. Classes will be held on the second floor of 121 Putnam Street, Marietta, Ohio. For more information on the town, including restaurants and places to stay, visit: 


New! Oregon

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

June 1st-7th, 2015: This class is full

September 7th-13th: This class is full

November 2nd-8th: 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. Tuition: $800 for primary student, $200 for student helpers


July 13th-19th, 2015: This class is full

August 10th-16th, 2015: Due to a last minute cancellation there are now 2 spots available in this class.

October 12th - 18th, 2015: This class is full; we are accepting names for a waiting list.

December 14th-20th, 2015: This class is full; we are accepting names for a waiting list.


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:



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 classes in Florida, Ohio, Washington and Oregon 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 Home:
Your kayak 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 in will not be able to store your boat 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 Boat:
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 will be charged. For classes outside of Port Townsend, kits will need to be shipped 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-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 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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