HOWB 065 – Interview | Jeff Hammond: Master Wooden Boatwright, Instructor, and Seasoned Carpenter

by admin on December 13, 2012


Behind Jeff Hammond’s laid back demeanor and Wisconsin drawl is a Master Boat Builder and seasoned instructor who is the Real McCoy.  He’s been instructing at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building since 1985 and is on top of his game.

As a youth in Wisconsin, Jeff built model boats and canoed with his family on local lakes.  After school he entered the construction trade, building houses and cabinets and messing with a few boat building projects here and there.  It was a tough time for the construction business, so in 1984 Jeff visited a schoolmate in the Seattle area to look for improved work opportunities.  When he told her of his interest in boat building, she suggested they visit Port Townsend and the 4 year old Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building.

Jeff got a tour of the school one fateful day in December 1984 and knew the minute he left, that he would return as a student. Four months later he was enrolled in a 6 month course at the school with 8 classmates.  At the end of the term, he enrolled for another 6 months and was asked to work for the school, which he did as instructor, shop person, and student helper.

Five weeks after finishing his second term, Jeff was asked by founder Bob Prothero to return to the school as a regular instructor to replace a retiring instructor.  Jeff couldn’t have been more excited for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with beautiful woods on hand crafted boats.  He has been at the school 27 years now and never looked back.

Click on green player button above to listen to the interview and find out more about Jeff Hammond and his boating building adventures.

Here’s some pics to enjoy (click to enlarge):

Jeff at the drawing table with Boat School students looking on. Photo courtesy of NW School of Wooden Boat Building.


A Prothero skiff nearing completion at the School.  Photo by Wooden Boat Dan.

A lapstrake, copper riveted work of art built at the school. Photo by Wooden Boat Dan.


Thanks Jeff for taking time for the interview.  Best to you and the NW School of Wooden Boat Building!
Wooden Boat Hack of the Week – #10 – Can You Spell Ambidextrous Worker?
“Equally skillful with each hand” is how Webster describes ambidextrous.   And here’s several reasons you need to use both hands (and related arms, shoulders, elbows etc.) when working on your boat(s):

  • You won’t wear out one side of your body before the other.  Seriously, your shoulders, hands and other parts eventually wear out. Why not take the burden off one side and share with the other?  Delay that shoulder cuff surgery a few years or maybe completely.
  • It takes your intelligence to new heights – you’ll be making the other side of your brain work more and this takes, well, it takes work.
  • Geometrically speaking there will be times when you have a mechanical advantage using one of your hands versus the other.  Think of sanding the hull of a small boat near the bow.  If you stand just to the right of the bow, you can reach around with your left hand and gain decent leverage as you sand.

HOWB Produces First Video Interview I have produced the first ever HOWB video interview.  The interview is with Lloyd Shugart of Seattle, WA and he owns and is restoring a Ed Monk Sr. designed bridgedeck beauty.  Check out  the video here:

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I would REALLY appreciate you sending me wooden boats pics, stories, or projects you are working on. You can also write comments on this blog, email me at, or call my feedback hotline at 424 261-2360. Click HERE to subscribe to my email news list for the latest and greatest fun stuff and click on one of the buttons below to subscribe to my show. Keep the bright side up and the barnacled side down – Wooden Boat Dan “over and out”! Subscribe to the Hooked On Wooden Boats Podcast here: Zune iTunes RSS Feed

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