Northwest Yachting June 2019

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L I V I N G

HERITAGE

Form, function, and history meet. A woodworking class at the Center for Wooden Boats is reviving a catboat design that defined recreational sailing in the Northwest decades ago. On a clear January day, I stood with a dozen people in the boat shop of the Wagner Education Center, a newly opened facility of the Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) in Seattle. The shudders were raised on the huge glass windows that circled the room, filling the shop with winter sunlight. We were all students in a woodworking class, part of the Kitten Boatbuilding

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Project, here to learn how to construct a small sailboat using traditional tools and techniques. We gathered around a white board as the instructor, shipwright Ben Kahn, explained the details of the day’s project. I confess, I felt a little in over my head. Building the boat takes place over the course of many classes, and I’d joined in about halfway through. Many of the other students had been participating since the