For Parents

forparentsSending a student away to school is a milestone in the life of any parent, it can also be a time of great apprehension as decisions are made for the next steps in your child’s education. Parents can rest assured that at Great Lakes Boat Building School we are committed to partnering with you in guiding your student through the challenges and triumphs of the next few years.

We understand the mix of emotions that you and your family are experiencing as your child transitions from high school student to learning a skill that will benefit them for the rest of their life.

The Student Services Office at GLBBS provides communication between the School and the parents/guardians of our students in order to support student success, generate goodwill for the School, and to provide information regarding School resources, events/activities, and opportunities to interact with other parents.

GLBBS Quick Facts

  • Established in 2006 as a nonprofit, private educational institution
  • Licensed Michigan Proprietary School
  • Students have come from 38 states, 3 Canadian provinces, Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean
  • 12,000 square foot water front facility located in Cedarville of Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula.
  • Veteran, Needs, and Merit-based financial aid and scholarships available
  • 3 full-time programs
  • 7-8 boats built each year

Our Curriculum

Our full-time, nine-month programs are designed to GARTSIDE SLOOP
provide a cross-functional course of study in the methods, materials, and professionalism required of today’s wooden boat builder. Integrating lectures, demonstrations, and individual projects, the programs focus on the right balance of theoretical and practical knowledge for career success.

The academic year is divided into two semesters. The first year of study begins with basic joinery techniques and the construction of traditional small craft using the tried and true techniques used to build boats for centuries. The second semester is rounded out by courses in finishing systems, interior joinery, and composite boat building.

Second year students expand on the skills learned in the first year with courses in advanced composite boat building, marine electrical systems, propulsion systems, advanced yacht joinery, restoration, and marine mechanical systems.

We want our students to leave Great Lakes Boat Building School having been exposed to as much of the boat building and maritime trades as possible – ready to make an impact for their future employer.


Who is the typical Great Lakes Boat Building School student?

GLBBS students are traditional students, fresh off of high school graduation.  They are Veterans of the U.S. Military. Others are career changers who have already been professionals in something other than building boats.

So…there is no “typical” GLBBS student – just individuals with a love for boats and a passion for working with their hands.  All of our students are propelled by an interest in becoming skilled craftsmen and craftswomen.


A typical day at GLBBS begins at 8:30a with an in-class lecture.  Students spend the remainder of their day (aside from an hour long lunch break) on the projects assigned to them in the mill, workshop, finishing room, or loft.

skiingDuring the course of the school day students may sort, inventory, and mill lumber, draft, loft, sand, cut, assemble, shape, paint, and varnish their projects just as they would in a commercial boat building shop. Students are expected to maintain not only their own tools but the tools in the mill as well. At the conclusion of each day (5p), students are responsible for cleaning and prepping their workspace for the following day.

After the work day, students are offered many social and educational opportunities and the chance to work on their own side projects. Students have 24/7 school access.






What People Say


Richard P., Supporter October 18, 2016

What Will You Build Next?