John Gardner Small Craft Workshop

Saturday, May 29, 2021 to Monday, May 31, 2021

Greetings: Mystic Seaport Museum has opened their on-line registration for the John Gardner Small Craft Workshop to be held Memorial Day Weekend. Either enter “Small Craft Workshop” in the Search box on the Seaport’s Home Page or click this Link: which will take you to the event page at the bottom of which is a button to register.

After an initial Log-in you will be presented an opportunity to purchase a $20 ticket (good all weekend), describe your boat, if you bring one, and volunteer, if you wish, to lead a demonstration or help staff the booth. A confirmation email will then appear in your in-box with electronic tickets and a copy of a Welcome to Participants letter which not only describes Workshop Activities but also includes a section on Workshop Logistics (check-in times, loading in and out of boats and parking). Bunks will be available on the “Conrad” for an additional $20/night; there are also local hotels and few campsites.

This year’s Workshop will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first workshop created by John Gardner in 1970. We plan to re-create the row to the original workshop as described in Steve Jones’ book “Breakwaters” led by Steve in a replica of this original boat. We will also spend some time considering the future: solar powered boats, 3-D printing of traditional hulls and, of course, take some time to sail the harbor. On Saturday afternoon we will tour the Seaport’s Watercraft Hall which is normally not open to the public. The Boathouse Livery will continue to to be available to try out a variety of rowing and sailing craft at no charge. All this in addition to our usual early morning rows and ongoing presentations.

This year we will not be a part of the WoodenBoat Show but rather be a part of the Seaport’s "Jump into Summer” Memorial Day Weekend. There will be a lot going on around the Museum that weekend; they welcome our traditional craft to provide action on the River. With the additional space available we may hold an old-fashioned combination Rowing and Sailing “Versatility Race” as well as our usual rowing and sailing activities.

Hope to see you there. Brian Cooper will be leading the Workshop this year; contact him at or Bill Rutherford at

Mystic Seaport Museum 75 Greenmanville Avenue Mystic, CT 06355

Brian Cooper at
Bill Rutherford at