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Bath Boatbuilders Head to West Coast Conference for Professional Development

Maine Maritime Museum and Maine’s First Ship educators to attend Teaching with Small Boats Alliance International Conference in Port Townsend, Washington this week.

BATH, Maine – This week, boatbuilding educators from Maine Maritime Museum and Maine’s First Ship – both go-to resources for the state’s seafaring history – will attend the Teaching with Small Boats Alliance International Conference. Held in Port Townsend, Washington from November 3-5, the annual conference gathers the world’s finest experts on small boats, featuring three days of presentations, panels and work sessions involving leaders in maritime education and international boatbuilding.

These two organizations based in the City of Ships are proud to send four representatives to the West Coast conference: Maine Maritime Museum’s Director of Boatbuilding Kurt Spiridakis, alongside boatbuilding educator Luke Small, Maine’s First Ship’s Executive Director Kirstie Truluck, and head rigger Jim Nelson. The four look forward to meeting and networking with other maritime-focused organizations across America, who use boatbuilding and sailing as a tool for confidence-building in young people. Spiridakis plans to present about the museum’s Discovery Boatbuilding program, while Small will join a panel about the intersection of gender and boatbuilding.

From left to right: Luke Small, boatbuilding educator at Maine Maritime Museum, Jim Nelson, head rigger for Maine’s First Ship, Kurt Spiridakis, director of boatbuilding at Maine Maritime Museum, and Kirstie Truluck, executive director of Maine’s First Ship. Photo courtesy of Keith Spiro.

Maine’s First Ship will be presenting as part of a panel titled “Big Boats, Small Ships: New Boats for Programming” alongside representatives from Chesapeake Marine Museum and the Buffalo Maritime Center.

“We are excited to join Maine’s First Ship in sharing our programs and best practices with educators from around the country,” said Spiridakis. “With our proximity to the rich culture and history of boatbuilding and shipbuilding in Bath, we are uniquely positioned to teach an authentic and immersive curriculum to young people in this area. Meeting educators from similar organizations with their own maritime traditions will only strengthen and advance our shared missions.”

Maine Maritime Museum