The trade and skills of wooden boatbuilding began to die with the development of fiberglass reinforced plastic boats, and long before 1992 wooden boatbuilding was considered a dead industry. Still, the building of a wooden boat was something that could catch a child's attention; to build and sail a boat of one's own could be a consuming project that would set a pattern for life. In 1990 a program began to build on this premise: to reach out to the troubled youth of the inner cities, teach useable skills, self confidence, and pride of accomplishment by teaching youths to build small wooden boats, then teaching them to sail the boats that they built.

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