Vermont Humanities
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From Skiffs to Sail Ferries: The Story of Vermont’s Small Boat Traditions

Live Event
May 22: 6:30 pm

The stories of Vermont naval history and commercial shipping have been well documented by generations of historians. However, the traditions of small boat building from throughout our state have remained untold. The bulk of our historic boatbuilding traditions involves Vermonters building their own boats, whether for pleasure or commercial use. The historical record illuminating this subject resides today mostly in family stories and photo collections.

In this presentation, Douglas Brooks shares his research on these traditions, and his work in recreating some of these historic vessels.

About the presenter

Photo of Douglas BrooksA boat builder, writer, and researcher, Douglas Brooks specializes in the construction of traditional wooden boats for museums and private clients. He studied with nine boatbuilders from across Japan between 1996-2019, and is currently working with the Henry Sheldon Museum of History on a comprehensive survey of historic boats and boatbuilding in the Lake Champlain Basin.

He teaches classes in boatbuilding and regularly publishes articles on his research, and is the author of five books, including Japanese Wooden Boatbuilding, the first comprehensive survey of the craft. More information about his work can be found at his website.  Brooks is a graduate of Trinity College and Middlebury College Language School.


May 22
6:30 pm
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Corinne Cooper
(802) 324-6622
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UVM Extension in Berlin
327 US Route 302
Barre, 05641 United States
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