All Hands Boatworks exists to build character, opportunities, and hope in
Milwaukee's youth through
 wooden boatbuilding, work experiences, and on-water activities.

March 2014

Keep updated with AHB each month by making sure you are receiving our emails into your "Inbox." 
"In the age of the smartphone, I think it is even more important than ever for young people to use the other eight digits on their hands to learn, to make, and to create."

                                                   William Nimke, founder
                                                   All Hands Boatworks, Inc. 

AHB + AWE = S.T.E.A.M.

All Hands Boatworks and Artists Working In Education are collaborating this spring to teach a hands-on, project-based unit for seventh and eighth graders at Bay View Middle School.  AHB's "boat guys" are guiding students in the construction of the 12' Bevins Skiff, while A.W.E. artist Eriks Johnson is challenging students' creativity to build a variety of scale model boats and develop artistic skills to paint and embellish the big boat once completed.

But there's more.  The educaitonal project is an example of a solid STEAM foundation (science/technology/engineering/art/math).  Students are investigating engineering and problem-solving in boatbuilding big and small, including hull design, buoyancy, and displacement considerations. They are also gaining skills in the safe use of tools, measurement and accuracy, fractions and geometry, teamwork, following directions, and the pride of accomplishment in building something real and functional. 

"This is a wonderful, hands-on opportunity for young people to understand that real-world learning doesn’t take place in silos,” says William Nimke, founder of All Hands Boatworks, Inc.

Family Boatbuilding Workshop 
Over the course of three wintry Saturdays, three families successfully built their first canoes while  dreaming of warm summer days on the water.  All Hands Boatworks'  instructors led the workshop, which took place at the Lynden Sculpture Garden in Brown Deer.   There is considerable interest in offering additional workshops.  Stay tuned for announcements and be sure to follow AHB on facebook.


Youth Boatbuilding
Dear Teachers, Summer Program Coordinators, Camp Leaders --
Create an unforgettable hands-on learning experience this summer or fall for  your youth to work together to build a 12-foot rowing boat, reinforce their math literacy. and develop life-long skills.  Give them an opportunity to experience the satisfaction and pride that comes from building something REAL with their own hands.  But make no mistake -- Our boatbuilding projects take commitment and hard work.  The result:  a little more grit, a lot of sawdust, and a real, working wooden boat! 

                Building To Teach© Youth Program

All Hands Boatworks leads its program at YOUR location.  AHB can work with you to integrate projects and activities with existing school curricula or lead a stand-alone after-school or summer project.  AHB can design a program around your scheduling and youth needs. Boats can be built in a week or scheduled over several weeks.

What youth learn and do --

 ~ Reinforce math operations, fractions, ratios, percentages, measurement,
and geometry

~ Learn the safe use of tools

~ Collaborate and communicate with others 

~ Increase self-discipline

~ Gain new knowledge about Milwaukee's water resources, especially our local rivers

~ Experience the pride of accomplishment from building something tangible and real!

Want to know more?

All Hands Boatworks provides all the tools, materials, instructional
supplements, and consumable supplies. Create a beautiful work of craft art, display it to show learning in action, and then go rowing!

Contact All Hands Boatworks for details about fees, space requirements, and student group options.


For further information,
please contact:

Bill Nimke, founder



The Eureka 155 Canoe

All Hands Boatworks is partnering with the Nehemiah Project and its boys to build the Eureka 155 canoe, which will be auctioned at their May fundraiser.  The goal of the event is to raise support for a new literacy program.  The Nehemiah Project provides transitional living, educational, leadership, and psychological services for young men at-risk or who have become involved with the criminal justice system. 

Not only is this a first-time project for them, it is also a first-time build for AHB.  The Eureka 155 canoe was designed by Michael Storer from Adelaide, Australia.  The boat is stitch-and-glue plywood construction.   If all goes well and she proves to be a seaworthy little craft, look for the Eureka as a future workshop class.

Watch for photos of our progress next month!

We Need Many Hands!

Imagine a community-based boat shop on the river that is a safe harbor for Milwaukee youth and a vibrant hands-on learning center that values craftsmanship, connects us with our rivers and lakes, and inspires personal growth. A place where youth – and adults -- build boats and much more.


YOU can help BUILD All Hands Boatworks by getting involved. 

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

2. VISIT one of our Building To Teach
in-residency" projects.



5. DONATE to support our youth.

6. VOLUNTEER to be trained as a boatbuilding
educator or help behind-the-scenes.  

       Let's start a conversation.  
     We'd love to hear from you.



Family Boatbuilding

Youth Programs

Eureka 155 Canoe


Volunteers Meeting


Click here to participate in our survey


March 26, 2014

7:00 p.m.
Stubby's Gastrogrub
2060 N. Humboldt Ave.

work truck (see pic below)
cordless drills with bits
router with trim bit
disk/orbital sander
4" "C" clamps
band saw
good orbital jig saw
hand saw

disposable gloves
hand cleaner



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 project of the Milwaukee Environmental Consortium,
a 501(c)(3) nonprofit

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