About

Joe Taylor, a master boat-builder, developed “boat sickness” the opposite way that most people do.

Growing up in Missoula, Montana and Portland, Oregon, Joe didn’t grow up with the sea in his blood like the majority of his colleagues. He wasn’t looking for a way to “stay connected with the sea”, rather he was looking for a way to grow his serious woodworking prowess. With a big move to Rockland, Maine in 2002— Joe took the plunge head first into the challenge of wooden boatbuilding and attended the esteemed Apprentice Shop for a “2-year Apprenticeship Program, an intensive experience designed to teach all aspects of traditional wooden boatbuilding and seamanship. Having the opportunity not only to build but also to sail traditional boats is a key component of [their] programs, and sets [them] apart from other marine trade focused programs.” Joe was hooked—he wanted to learn everything about boats and how they work which led to lots of time on the water, which led to a love of the sea.

Joe is passionate about new challenges and enjoys the satisfaction that comes from taking a pile of rough lumber and turning it into not just a boat but a beautiful vehicle that may even be someone’s home.

  • 2000– I earned my BS in Forest Resources Management, University of Montana
  • 2002– I attended and completed the two-year Apprenticeship Program at the Apprentice Shop, Rockland, Maine
  • 2004– Apprentice Shop journeyman (two additional years)During that time I worked on several projects from a 9’6” pram to a 24 foot Lobsterboat.
  • After the apprenticeshop, I worked for the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard for a year.  I worked on the HMS Bounty, rebuilding the transom.  That was a very complicated job, and it turned out well.  The transom had nothing to do with the Bounty sinking.
  • 2007–  I started working for Paul Rollins, York, Maine .  I worked for him pretty much full time until 2012.  Again, we worked on various projects of various sizes from rowboats up to 65 foot boats.  Our workload was usually split 50/50 between restorations and new builds. Probably the highest profile project we did was build the Piscataqua– a sailing gungalow.
  • 2012– My young family and I got our wooden boat “Robin” ready and sailed to the Bahamas, returning to Maine in the summer of 2013.*
  • 2013– I worked with John Noon down in Exeter, NH to build a 30 foot sloop for a year after we got back.
  • 2014– I worked for various boatbuilders doing small jobs during the winter.
  • 2015– We moved to Polson, MT
  • 2015–2016– I started on the Bella T in Nevada. That was a major restoration that took until June on 2016.
  • 2016–2017– Winter, we sailed back to the Bahamas.*

*My personal boat is “Robin”. She is a 36 foot Double Ended Ketch.  She was designed by John Atkins and built by Lyle Harrington in 1962.  His shop was in Barrington, New Hampshire.

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