Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory

Sail Program

The Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory’s (PWBF) Sail program is a year-round apprenticeship program for middle-school youth in sail making and small-boat sailing. Using the art and science of these disciplines as the framework, the program fostered physical and emotional health among participants, weaving social-emotional learning (SEL) activities into daily engagement and weekly workshops helping participants to succeed in high school and beyond. In addition to preparing young people for more successful trajectories, PWBF – via its Sail program and other maritime craft and environmental apprenticeships – sought to foster youth leadership within the communities they serve.

  • Enable students to learn the craft of sail making and art of sailing.
  • Invest in strengthening the PWBF sailing program, utilizing a growing fleet of student-built factory one-design sailboats.
  • Encourage cross-age peer instruction and role-modeling on part of older youth.
  • Build out community engagement aspects of the sailing program, either with the larger sailing community and/or with local residents.

About Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory

Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory (PWBF) was founded in 1996 to provide high-school youth at risk of dropping out opportunities to re-engage in learning through hands-on, traditional wooden boat building. PWBF now provides low-income youth ages 12-21 with year-round, out-of-school-time apprenticeships in wooden boat building, sail making, and sailing (Boat, Build and Sail) as well as environmental science and stewardship (RiverGuides). PWBF works to foster positive self-image and a sense of personal agency among its participants, knowing that how youth think about themselves is profoundly influential on their potential for success.

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