The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum Heritage Boatworks is the traditional wooden boatbuilding program overseen by the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) and carried out by a dedicated team of volunteers. Wooden boatbuilding thrived in St. Augustine for over four centuries until it was finally supplanted by fiberglass construction in the early 1980s. Heritage Boatworks is committed to keeping this maritime tradition alive and relevant by constructing living replicas of vessels once common in the waters of St. Augustine and northeast Florida. The boatbuilders' work also aids Lighthouse archaeologists with the interpretation, reconstruction and experimental replication of archaeological boat and ship remains.
Heritage Boatworks was established in 2007, and in its first three years had completed six boats. They have been issued a Manufacturer's Identification Code (prefix 'LMP') by the U.S. Coast Guard and are regularly inspected by their Recreational Boat Testing & Factory Compliance Program. Our boatbuilders have made this program sustainable by raffling off a hand-built boat each year in our annual Boat Drawing. One current project, begun in late 2009, is the reconstruction of a 14' British yawl (ship's boat) based on a 1760 Royal Navy design. It is framed primarily with St. Augustine-grown live oak It will be presented to our overseas shipbuilding partner, the Astilleros Nereo ("Nereo Shipyard") in Malaga, Spain, when their full-sized replica of the Revolutionary War ship Galveztown arrives in St. Augustine.We have also been contracted to conduct repairs to existing boats, most recently for the stern boat of the War of 1812 replica privateer Lynx.
Heritage Boatworks volunteers meet at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum every Tuesday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., except in the hottest summer months. All visitors are welcome to watch and ask questions or lend a hand by participating as a volunteer. To volunteer, simply show up during these times or contact our Volunteer Coordinator by calling 904-829-0745.
Please explore the following links to learn more about our boatbuilding program, the history of wooden boatbuilding in St. Augustine, and traditional types of vessels built to sail our waters:
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, are copyright Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, Inc. We extend permission to scholars, students, and other interested members of the public to use images and to quote from text for non-commercial educational or research purposes, provided LAMP is acknowledged and credited. If there are any questions regarding the use of LAMP’s work, please inquire at LAMP@staugustinelighthouse.org.