Member Highlight

Tidewater Wooden Boat Shop

TWSBA Conferences nurture new boatbuilding organizations. Where interest in new programs emerges the TWSBA community enthusiastically helps new organizations get started. TWSBA offers best practices and connections to mentors. Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop is a success story of growing an idea into a strong community program with support from the broader community of educational boatbuilders.

Tom Brandl & Joe Filipowski attended the 2013 TWSBA Conference, seeking inspiration and insights to establish an educational boatbuilding program serving Virginia’s Tidewater Region. By 2014, Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop was incorporated as a 501(c )(3) corporation in Virginia. Guidance and materials from other TWSBA organizations and mentors accelerated their program launch.

Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop’s first decade is a portfolio of inspired programming delivered through mentorship and direct experience in the boatshop. That portfolio demonstrates continuous program growth and students benefitting from “After-School Boatbuilding,” “Home-School Boatbuilding,” “Summer Camps,” various spontaneous activities, and most recently, the “Pre-Apprentice Program.” TWBW continuously adapts to meet emergent community needs.

Having once received fundamental guidance at a TWSBA Conference, Tom Brandl now serves on the TWSBA Board of Directors and regularly shares his successes with the TWSBA Community as presenter, panelist, and collaborator. For Tom and TWBW, the TWSBA Conference is both a venue for discussing recent activities and a source of new insights from peers.