Workshops and Classes

John Gardner Boat Shop

Learn a new skill at the nation’s leading maritime museum. Mystic Seaport offers a wide range of classes and workshops for adults year-round, including:

Blacksmithing — Private lessons for all skill levels

Step back in time and learn traditional blacksmithing skills from our experts. The Museum’s 1885 James Driggs Shipsmith Shop is the historic setting for your entry into the world of coal forges, hammers, anvils, and the shaping of hot metal into functional and decorative items. You will learn appropriate techniques, such as tapering, flattening and bending and how to apply long-established blacksmith finishes. Additional topics include fire tending, heating, tools, hammer control and, of course, safety. You will also learn to distinguish between the colors of heated metal to accomplish specific tasks and, ultimately, you will make small objects of your own design or of samples provided.

Fall 2014 classes are by appointment only. Please call 860.572.5322, ext. 1 to make a class reservation. Registration fees are:

Sessions are three hours. Students must be at least 12 years old; students ages 12-15 must be accompanied by an adult. 

Boat Building and Design

Gain hands-on experience in nearly every phase of designing, constructing, and maintaining a traditional boat. Classes include Introduction to Half-Model Construction, Traditional Boatbuilding, and Varnishing Techniques for Traditional Boats. Please check the calendar for current offerings.

Planetarium Courses

The Treworgy Planetarium offers daily programs to acquaint Museum visitors with the stars, planets, and constellations of the nighttime sky. These programs help visitors understand how mariners use the sun and stars to determine directions and position at sea. In addition, the Planetarium offers a variety of classes including coastal and celestial navigation and GPS workshops for both adults and youths. Please check the calendar for current offerings.

Music, Cooking and Art

Sharpen your sea music skills through musical instruction and hands-on work experience aboard the Museum’s historic vessels. Step inside the 1768 Buckingham-Hall House and learn the art of open-hearth cooking as knowledgeable cooks guide you through the preparation of a traditional 19th-century meal. Refine your artistic technique at the Maritime Gallery while watching award-winning artists demonstrate their craft. Please check the calendar for current offerings.

ABYC Courses

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) offers a variety of courses at Mystic Seaport. Classes are held at the Museum, but you must register directly with ABYC. For more information and to register, visit or call 410.990.4460. For the entire listing of courses, visit the ABYC calendar.