Freeport students build boats to benefit technology education

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FREEPORT — With teamwork and dedication, a group of Freeport Middle School students built a 12-foot sailboat and six-foot rowboat from scratch.

They auctioned off their handiwork and raised nearly $1,000 to help fund future technology projects at the school.

Jon Amory, the school’s technology teacher, said the students completed the project over two semesters. A group of seven eighth-graders worked on the boat the first semester, and 15 seventh-graders took over the second semester.

“These boats are complicated to build,” Amory said. “They have curved surfaces and the students worked with fiberglass and wood. This was not a flat-bottomed skiff project.”

The 12-foot sailboat was made with a dagger board and rudder, but came without a sail, mast or oars. The six-foot collapsible rowboat can be folded flat and carried by one person.

While Amory said the students followed the plans to build the boats, they altered the design to make it their own. The eighth-graders built the outside of the sailboat and cut the pieces of the rowboat, and the seventh-graders put in the sailboat interior and constructed the rowboat. 

“These students worked well together,” Amory said. “They latched on to the boat-building project, and collaborated to complete the project.”

The boats were launched June 7 and auctioned off on June 13. The rowboat sold for $250 and the sailboat for $700.

Amory said proceeds helped to pay for the cost of the boats and to fund future projects at the middle school.

“These boats were easily worth a lot more,” he said. “They were made well and they float.”

Amory said he will teach at Freeport High School next year, and plans to encourage the students to be creative, thoughtful and resourceful with similar projects.

“These students did quite an impressive job building these boats,” he said. “I hope the students are as proud of their work as I am.”

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or

Sidebar Elements

Freeport Middle School students sand the bottom of a sailboat they built from scratch for a project in Jon Amory’s technology class. About 20 seventh- and eighth-graders collaborated to build a 12-foot sailboat and a six-foot collapsible rowboat. They launched the boats June 7 and sold them at auction June 13. The proceeds will benefit future technology programs at the school.

Students in Jon Amory’s technology class prove their 12-foot sailboat and six-foot rowboat are seaworthy at the Harraseeket Yacht Club.