How Do I Become a Boat Builder?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 June 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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The level of education you will need to become a boat builder can vary; some employers will be okay with hiring a person who has only graduated from high school, while others may prefer a candidate with a college degree. It may be possible to become a boat builder with no formal education at all, though this is rare and often reserved for people who have been building boats their entire lives. Be sure to take math and science courses during your education, as these subjects will be most useful to you during the boat building process.

The best way to become a boat builder is to find an apprenticeship under an experienced boat builder. Such an apprenticeship may or may not pay any money, but it will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to become a boat builder within the course of several months or several years. Boat builders prefer apprenticeship candidates with some experience in the boating industry or with boat building in general, so if possible, try to practice the basics at home by setting up your own small workshop and trying out several simpler boat building techniques. When you apply for the apprenticeship, be sure to note your current experience level.


You may choose to try to become a boat builder by taking boat building courses at a community college or other establishment as well. Such classes will often give you the skills necessary to become a boat builder on a very basic level, and as you develop your skills, you may be able to start your own boat building business. This is a much more difficult process than choosing an apprenticeship, as you will be responsible not only for building quality boats, but also for marketing yourself, doing paperwork and payroll duties, applying for all proper certifications and abiding by all local laws. This is a course best left up to those individuals who are especially motivated and business savvy.

Decide what kind of boat building you want to do. Building smaller crafts such as dinghies or canoes can be done on a very small scale, and you may even be able to operate a business out of your garage. If you want to build yachts and other large craft, however, you will need to learn more skills and take in more information about the complex processes one will undertake to build such craft. You are best off applying for an apprenticeship at a boat yard or boat manufacturer if you want to choose this career path.



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