Cook Boat Shop and Adult Classes & Workshops

Located on the lower level of the museum, directly facing the Hyannis waterfront, the Cook Boat Shop is a working exhibit space of traditional & contemporary boat building, and restoration projects of historic Cape Cod water craft. Boat building classes, half hull model making, knot tying demonstrations and much more for all ages & levels. Course descriptions, volunteer opportunities, and registration details below.

Boat Shop Hours and Volunteer Opportunities

Pat Goff, our Boat Shop Coordinator, is available to train and work with you so you too can be a volunteer boat builder.

Boat Shop Hours: Open daily

Registration, Tuition, Deposits and Cancellations!

Tuitions vary according to our costs and the length of the course. You will find the tuition amount(s) below each course description. We ask you to deposit one half of your tuition fee upon registraton. Courses require a minimum number of people to run. Please check our Event Calendar for class schedule. Become a museum member to receive a 20% discount on your class!

The Traditional Small Craft Association

19th-century America saw the development of boats that rank as some of the most beautiful, most efficient, and most perfectly adapted boats ever conceived. Catboats, Whitehalls, wherries, peapods, dories, sharpies -- the list is seemingly endless and filled with wildly different designs and uses that share one thing in common: they each represent a long line of development that resulted in boats that were, and remain, virtually unsurpassable for their intended purposes.


The Traditional Small Craft Association endeavors to appreciate these boats for what they are -- not relics of the past or sterile objects of Museum-quality venerability, but vessels that were designed to be used profitably and with pleasure. While some of our members are professional or amateur boat builders who appreciate the materials and methods that went into the original construction of these boats, we happily embrace the use of new materials and techniques as well. What sets many of the most popular modern boats apart from the ones you will typically see at a TSCA gathering is that the modern boat is more often driven by the demands of modern marketing and the marketplace. They are often serious compromises, heavily influenced by the need to appeal to the largest number of possible users. Our boats tend to be more individualistic and more specifically suited to the actual purposes to which we put them. They also tend to be smaller! The adage that "Bigger is Better" (or in boating terms, "If it won't sleep six it's too small") is a fairly modern concept.The sense of history and tradition that surrounds these boats is certainly one of the attractions. But, fundamentally, the average member of TSCA simply enjoys the thrill of "messing about" in a boat that performs superbly and without compromise, whether it's passage-making under oars, a sedate cruise around the harbor, a romping sail back from the fishing grounds, or a quiet paddle up a tidal estuary. If this kind of boating appeals to you, we would like to invite you to contact your closest chapter of TSCA and, perhaps, find some like-minded souls and a chance to enjoy some of the finest boats ever created.

TSCA History


The TSCA as an organization was first created as a response to a plan by the Federal government to adopt a set of "safety" standards that would, in effect, have declared traditional types such as peapods and dories "unseaworthy". This seemed WRONG to people such as John Gardner and Pete Culler. They were told that protest would be much more effective if they were speaking for an organization, and so they went and built one. We'd like to think that the TSCA had a significant part in the result, which was that the regulations were revised so that traditional boats were permitted to continue to exist. FOR THE MOMENT. Who knows when we'll need to take up the cudgels again? Having got by this crisis, the organization turned to the long-term business of "passing the word" about traditional types to the world in general, or at least that part of it which might be interested.

TSCA - Cape Cod Chapter

The TSCA – Cape Cod Chapter continues the traditions of small boat craft. The Chapter meets once a month, the second Tuesday, at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum in Hyannis. For more information please contact Bill Stirling at or Bob Lister at .

Frequent Class Offerings

Bevins skiff

Build a Bevins Skiff

A Community Boat Building Program designed to teach hands-on math skills for students of all ages.
8-week course:
For students grades 6th — 8th grades.
Instructor: Bob Lister
Tuition: $150/student
As a team, students will build one 12’ traditional wooden rowing skiff from a kit, then learn how to build one full kit from scratch.
To register for this class please contact CCMM at 508-775-1723 or e-mail .
Become a member and save 20%!

Call the museum for details at 508-775-1723

Intro to Lofting

Introduction to Lofting

The very basics of lofting for beginners. The course teaches how designers' lines are laid down in three dimensions in order for hull shapes to be lifted in full scale patterns. We will loft a 9' flat bottom skiff, learn to pick up bevels and develop transom bevels, all done with the simple drawing to scale.

Instructor: Tony Davis (of Arey’s Pond Boat Yard) in the Cook Boat Shop at CCMM

Call the museum for details at 508-775-1723

Lofting image

Intermediate Lofting

This course is designed for the student who has an interest in building a boat on their own with no kits or pre-made construction materials. The course teaches how the designer's lines are laid down in three dimensions in order for hull shapes to be lifted in full scale patterns. Learn to understand offsets and how to fare a line. Learn the meaning of every line an architect uses to create a hull shape. It is here the real construction of the boat begins.

Call the museum for details at 508-775-1723

Boat Building

Intro to Boat Building

This is an entry-level course on boat building, which explores basic lofting, layout and terminology that goes with the construction of a ten-foot skiff. Each student will have the opportunity to build each part of the skiff themselves before it goes into the actual skiff. Students do not need prior experience with boat building, woodworking or tools to participate in this course--only the desire to explore something different!

Call the museum for details at 508-775-1723

Spar Making


Start with a visit to Pleasant Bay Boat & Spar Company, learn the basics of building a spar, understand the process in solid, hollow and box v. round spars. Next you will use basic spar making principles, hands on, in building a 6-8 ft stick, in CCMM's Cook Boat Shop.

Instructor: Suzanne Leahy (of Pleasant Bay Boat & Spar)
Cost: $125 non-members, $100 CCMM Members
Tools: small plane, spoke shave, adjustable square, pencils
Date and Time: Call the museum for details at 508-775-1723
Cape Cod Maritime Museum, 135 South Street, Hyannis

Sailors Valentine

Sailor’s Valentines

Gerda Reid, a self-taught Valentiner with 15 years. experience creates her own unique, one-of-kind, valentine creations using designs that are intricate, precise, bright and cheery, often geomentric, colorful and with attention to shading. The valentine boxes are also Gerda’s design and contructed of mahogany and other select hardwoods. In this workshop you will learn many of Gerda’s creative techniques and applications while making your very own sailor’s valentine.

Instructor: Gerda Reid
Cost: $575/student or Member/$550
Tools: All supplies and materials include (9” frame)
Date and Time: Call the museum for details at 508-775-1723
Location: Cape Cod Maritime Museum, 135 South Street, Hyannis

Introductory Celestial Navigation

Introduction Drawing

Larry Hall, an engineer and widely experienced navigator of ocean sailing yachts as well as US Coast and Geodetic Survey ships along with Bill Cook, yacht designer and past president of the Cape Cod Maritime Museum will be on hand to teach the principles of celestial navigation. The class is primarily for the yachtsmen and recreational boater, but also for anyone interested in the science behind celestial navigation that is so important to our maritime history. We will begin at the museum with an explanation of the concepts related to how it all works. Next, we will proceed to Kalmus Beach (weather permitting) to take some actual sights. At the beach, we will emphasize the Noon Sun Sight, which gives the navigator his latitude, but also shows how this technique can be extended to provide any line of position, using accurate time.

Instructors: Larry Hall and Bill Cook
Cost: $35 non-members, $28 members
Date and Time: Call the museum for details at 508-775-1723
Location: Cape Cod Maritime Museum, 135 South Street, Hyannis

Intro to Lofting

Hands-On Half Hull Modeling Class

Build the Cape Cod classic wooden vessel the Beetlecat .

Instructor: Mark Sutherland. A professional craftsman since 1979, Mark Sutherland specializes in models of 19th- and early 20th-century ships and boats, along with scrimshaw artifacts, decorative ship carving and figureheads.
Cost: $300 non-members, $240 members
Date and Time: Call the museum for details at 508-775-1723
Location: The Cook Boat Shop at CCMM


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