Every Seawolf workshop starts with a person like you who wants to build a kayak in your local area. If you are willing to help get the ball rolling, we will bring a workshop to you. Workshop organizers build a kayak for 1/2 the workshop cost. This discount can be applied towards one boat, or shared amongst co-organizers.

Requirements for Organizing

The cost to participants depends on factors such as location, wood price, workshop space cost, etc. We’ll work with you to price it all out. On average, US workshops cost $2100/participant. See our Upcoming Workshops to get an idea of current pricing.

International Workshops

Workshops outside of the US take an incredible effort on the part of our local organizers. From handling payments, to translating, to helping navigate VAT and customs. Therefore, every organizer outside the US builds a kayak free of charge. If necessary for workshops outside the US, the organizer needs to be able to translate written material and interpret instruction. We can hire an interpreter if needed, though it will increase the workshop cost.

Location/Host

Securing a space is the first step in organizing a workshop. Our budget for the space depends on how many kayaks we can fit.

Builders

Without builders, the workshop can’t run. While we will help find participants, we count on you to spread the word to friends and in your local area.

Wood & Tools

A reliable source of clear cedar lumber and good power tools are needed for any workshop.

Lodging

It’s not the organizer’s responsibility to find accommodations for students, but we ask that you help guide students towards affordable options nearby.

Host a Workshop

One of the biggest factors in making a workshop possible is finding a space. Many great would-be-perfect workshop spaces are not available for short term rent, or are prohibitively expensive. If you are able to host the workshop yourself, or can otherwise secure a space for free, then you build a kayak in the workshop at no cost to you. The host kayak can be built by you, your cousin, your buddy, or anyone you want to share it with.

Workshop Organizers Guide

A lot goes into organizing a workshop, but we’re here to help make it easy! Click here for a print-format version of this information.

We also have a Sample Organizer Spreadsheet to help you get everything together.

Location

Locating a workshop can be easy if you happen to own a large barn, or tough if you are in the heart of London. This step is often the most difficult for an organizer, so we’ve got some tips to help you.

Requirements for workshop spaces:

  • Size: Minimum 1200 sq ft (115 sq m) for a single workshop (5-6 builders) and 2000 sq ft (186 sq m) for a double workshop (8-10 builders). The best spaces have an open layout.
  • Shelter: Kayaks and their builders need shelter from rain, sun, and bugs.
  • Power: Needed for tools & lights (we can use a generator if necessary).
  • Heat: The space must be at least 50 °F (10 °C) for the polyurethane coating to dry (and participants to be happy)!
  • Workability: We do our best to leave our workshop spaces cleaner than we found them, but they need to be able to handle dust and errant polyurethane drips.

Great workshop spaces:

  • Woodworking shops
  • Barns
  • Boathouses
  • Wedding venues
  • Summer camp lodges
  • Community centers
  • Schools
  • Large event tents (for warmer climates)

Participants

Workshops run between 5 and 10 builders (excluding a host boat). There is a lot of interest in and demand for skin-on-frame kayaks, and filling courses is pretty easy once folks have heard about it. To get word out, here are places to contact and advertise:

Kayaking groups

Your area might have a variety of kayaking-specific communities. Check for local establishments, as well as online communities built around Facebook or Meetup

Adventuring groups

More words

Woodworkers

More words

Local community

More words

Family & friends!

More words

Sourcing Wood

Sourcing kayak-quality wood can be a challenge for workshops outside the United States. We need the very best western red cedar to make our boats. Even in the US, locating a lumber supplier with a large enough supply of quality cedar can be difficult. We hand-pick each piece for our boats, and sometimes even large lumber yards don’t have enough acceptable high-grade pieces for a workshop.

Some lumber suppliers deal specifically with boat builders and may be able to get enough high-grade wood for our workshop. We prefer to be able to sift through a stockpile of wood in person, but if we have to place an order sight-unseen it must be through a lumber yard that deals with boat builders regularly and understands how finicky we are.

In addition to western red cedar, we need a small amount of hardwood, either oak or ash or similar.

Finally, we will need a supplier of laminated bamboo plywood. Few bamboo suppliers have the type we need: 5 or 6mm edge-laminated single-layer carbonized sheets in 4’x8′ (1.2m x 2.4m). This bamboo can be shipped across the country, but ordering overseas is very expensive.

Lodging

For Instructors

The workshop organizer is responsible for supplying or securing free lodging for the instructors. Don’t worry, we’re rather low maintenance!

For Students

Our organizers are our local experts. We ask you serve as a resource for out-of-towners needing affordable lodging in the area.

Interested In Organizing or Hosting a Workshop?

If you’ve looked over everything and are interested in organizing or hosting a workshop, contact us below to get started!