Fifth-grade boatbuilders at La Escuela Fratney

All Hands Boatworks exists to build character, job opportunities, and hope in Milwaukee's youth through  wooden boatbuilding, work experiences, and on-water activities.
January / February 2016
Keep updated with AHB each month by making sure you are receiving our emails into your "Inbox." 
Thursday Nights are now

     Here is the perfect opprtunity for anyone interested in learning more about boat building and about All Hands Boatworks' youth development programs.  AHB volunteers and newcomers will work on a boatbuilding project and/or other youth program-related projects. 

     Two-three hours every Thursday evening, starting at 5:30 p.m.  Stay any time and feel free to come and go.  No firm time commitment required. 

     For this winter and spring, AHB is very grateful to have work space being provided at WRTP / Big Step, 3841 W. Wisconsin Ave.

     Enjoy the camaraderie of boatbuilders, woodworkers, educators and philosophers! For more information, contact Bill at 262-290-0228.

10' Utility Pram challenges Carmen High School students

     This month, All Hands Boatworks was back at the Carmen High School of Science and Technology.  Eleven students in a three-week Intersession Class have been working together on a 10' runabout.  In addiiton to learning how to attach planking, bottom battens, and work with various hand tools, the students also learned how to work with fiberglass.  Students were also taught measuring tolerances, as well as the calculation of the hull volumes and displacement of numerous floating objects.   All Hands Boatworks would like to thank the staff at Carmen's Northwest Campus for giving us this wonderful teaching opportunity.

     Also, thank you to the Glacial Lakes Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, which donated the materials for the 10' James Craft Utility Pram.

 Middle Schoolers build a "Footy" fleet

Since last fall, middle school students at Messmer Prep and St. Rose St. Leo Schools have worked together two afternoons each week on the constuction of Footy Sailboats.  Each boat is built to precise specifications.  Once completed, students will be able to use an RC transmitter to control the boat's rudder and sail.  Through the project, the students have been introduced to electronic circuitry, the physics of sailing, and even knot-tying.  Students at the two schools can't wait for warm weather, not only to launch their
Footies, but also for the chance to go sailing with AHB instructors.   

This after-school program is a collaborative effort of All Hands Boatworks and the Building To Learn Consortium.

If you are interested in bringing exciting hands-on learning like this to your after-school program, please contact or
AHB volunteer Tom Marlett guides
our "Bishop Builders" at Messmer Prep.
Attention After-School Coordinators

     Looking for highly ENGAGING, hands-on LEARNING and FUN, while helping your students become more MATH proficient? 

All Hands Boatworks has several open slots for its Building2Learn small carpentry projects available to you.  Project sessions generally take place 2x per week over a six-week period.  Most suitable for students, ages 10-15.  

     Funding for the Building2Learn after-school program is largely provided through the MPS Partnership for the Arts and Humanities.

     Contact All Hands Boatworks to find out how you can bring Building2Learn to your students.  Contact Bill at 262-290-0228 or

Scholars AND Craftsmen

     All Hands Boatworks is very pleased to be boat building this year at Milwaukee College Prep's Lloyd Street campus.  At MCP, students are routinely referred to as scholars.  And for good reason.  Now, the 14 6th-7th graders who building their first Bevins' Skiff are discovering you can be a craftsman and a scholar at the same time.  Wonderful student group and outstanding work so far!

Interested in joining our volunteer crew?

* Are you interested in helping

young people
 succeed and grow?

* Are you a retired teacher who is, frankly, un-retire-able?

* Do you enjoy working with your hands?

* Are you a master craftsperson, a novice, or somewhere in between?

Volunteer Instructors
-- AHB is looking for Volunteer Assistants for our programs and operations. Volunteer Instructors work alongside our Lead Instructors in our educational boatbuilding and after-school builders’ clubs. The instructor/student relationship is a cornerstone of our programs and can be a very gratifying experience.


         *  Prior experience teaching or mentoring youth,
              or a  sincere desire to do so
         * Handy with tools
         * Able to lift 25-50 lbs.
         * Provide own transportation
         * Willing to submit to a state background check

Social Media Guru
– Looking for a self-starting volunteer who has experience and creativity to help us share our incredible stories with the world.


Please email Bill Nimke for further information:

Clean out that Basement and Garage
Help us equip Milwaukee's youth boat builders.  AHB is looking for donations of the following tools and equipment for our programs:

Power Tools (Must be in good working order)

14v Power Drill Set (with a battery that can hold a good charge and a charging station)
Belt Sander, 3"x21" belt or larger
Orbital Sander, any size
Jig saw
Hand tools (a little rust is fine, we are happy to clean up old tools)
Hammers, 12 ounce or larger, claw hammers
Pull Saws, or other small hand saws.( No broken teeth)
Coping Saws, or coping saw blades
Cross Cut Saws
Wood Files
Block Planes, Low angle. small, medium, or large. (Dull blades are fine, we will sharpen)
Chalk Line Clamps (a little rust is fine)
C-clamps 3-6 inches
Squeeze clamps, small or medium
Portable shop vac
Boat Building "Fashion":
Safety Glasses, dust masks, ear protectors
     Old Tool Belts, large and small
     Work Aprons , to keep glue off of kids clothes
 Oversized shirts (clean, preferably XL shirts to cover   
     students' pants as well) 


Thursday Open Shop Nights

Looking for volunteer instructors and a social media guru

Utility Pram Project at Carmen H.S.

After-School "Footies"


Welcome New Volunteers

Wish List

Grab an Oar, Get Involved


Krista Dunn
Daniel Erato
Tom Marlett
Kurt Mess
Brian Thompson



Please help us to build all youths, especially those whose lives are harder than we can imagine, to develop the skills, perseverance, and hopefulness
to succeed and grow.



Please help BUILD
All Hands Boatworks --

friends, teachers, youth workers, business sponsors...

one of our Building2Learn

"in-residency" projects.

DONATE to support our youth.

VOLUNTEER to be trained as a boatbuilding educator or help behind-the-scenes.
We'd love to hear from you!

Bill Nimke


All Hands Boatworks, Inc.

1845 N. Farwell Ave.,
Suite 100

Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: 262-290-0228

For all inquiries, 
please email -

All Hands Boatworks is a member of the Teaching With Small Boats Alliance.

All Hands Boatworks is a certified Building To Teach trainer.

All Hands Boatworks, Inc. is a tax-exempt charitable organization under sections 501(c)(3) and 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.