Great Lakes Boat Building School



Gus Bell is an inspiration to those students who are considering GLBBS’s two-year career program.  He certainly wasn’t thinking “boat building” a few years ago when he was surfing the internet looking for a carving school and came across GLBBS.  But there it was…offering him ore of what he wanted than he imagined.

A native of Cincinnati, OH, Gus is from a family of 14 children and was reared with a very strong work ethic.  This was evidenced in everything he did during his time at GLBBS, and he never wasted a minute in the after-hours, such as building a paddleboard and a peapod (a classic Maine boat) on his own.  To finance his tuition, he worked in a local deli and at various odd jobs at night and on weekends, and as a GLBBS shop assistant in the summer.

Immediately following graduation, Gus was hired by Hodgdon Yachts in East Boothbay, ME, where 2012 graduate Dane Wojcicki has been employed.  He started out doing all the hardware on a 65-ft. ketch, followed by extensive restoration of a 45-ft. yacht, and then over to Hodgdon Yacht Services to re-deck a boat.  During this time, he managed to find time to do volunteer work planking on Maine’s First Ship, Virginia.  Somewhere along the line, he connected with Pete Kass, noted boatbuilder and owner of John’s Bay Boat Co in South Bristol, ME, whose specialty is traditional wooden lobster boats and lobster yachts.

Gus is now working for Pete fulltime and, better yet, helping him harvest lobeters from 50-55 traps on Saturdays to sell at local co-ops.  Gus claims that he couldn’t be happier!

Gus states that boat building shops are looking more and more to GLBBS because its graduates are becoming known for not only their skills but their work ethic.  Obviously, Dane and Gus have helped to set that mark.