Spar Course Registration

Course Location: Big Boat Shed, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Course Dates: July 12 – 22, 2022
Enrolment Limit: 12 Students
Tuition Cost: $1155 CAD
Deposit on Registration: $550 CAD
Registration Process: Fill in the application form below and pay the deposit.

Given Lunenburg’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a working waterfront, we are proud to be able to give visitors and students a front row seat to living history. Not many places are able to offer this hands on experience.
The restoration and expansion of the Big Boat Shed was completed in Jan 2021. This was the main boat building facility for the famous Smith & Rhuland Shipyards. More than 270 ships — including the Bluenose II, the Bounty and the Rose — were constructed at this site over its history.

Big Boat Shed

The Spar course for Elsie L will be conducted at the Big Boat Shed from 12-22 July 2022. There will be no classes during the weekend of the 16-17, allowing students to enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Due to the nature of the course and COVID restrictions, all students will have to be fully vaccinated in order to attend.

The Course

This will be a busy two-week course in order to complete two solid spars for the Elsie L. The course will dedicate time to looking over plans and providing students with an understanding of how masts are supported. Students will be guided through the process of building both solid and hollow spars, including theory/calculations for construction, wood selection and proper seasoning. Individuals will have the opportunity to make their own spar gauges. Construction of a boom jaw will be covered. In addition, scarf joints, building of a spar bench, gluing up with epoxy and sharpening hand planes will be covered. The course will close with a few coats of varnish applied to the spars, with discussion on how to maintain spars. The course will include a visit to Elsie L in East River. A limited tools list will be provided for students to bring. The Big Boat Shed will provide the majority of the tools necessary.

Information on airports, accommodations and local attractions can be provided on request. Most accommodations in Lunenburg are within walking distance of the Big Boat Shed and numerous restaurants/pubs.

Tuition Details

NSHSRS is offering this course at cost; we are not using it to raise funds for the society. The fees reflect the cost of materials, instructors and facility.

We are asking that you deposit $550 upon registration through our online system. This will allow the purchase of the materials for the course in advance so they can be properly seasoned. The balance due must be paid one month before class begins. Your deposit, less a $100 fee, will be refunded in the event that you must cancel and do so at least two month prior to the beginning of the course.

In case of emergency or insufficient number of registrations, the Big Boat Shed and NSHSRS reserve the right to cancel the course and return all deposit money. Because of this policy, if you are flying in to attend the course, we strongly urge you to buy refundable airline tickets or flight insurance. The Big Boat Shed or NSHSRS will not be responsible for any loss on non-refundable airline tickets.

Register for the Spar Course

Participant Information and Deposit Payment Form