Pasaia (Basque Country)

First boatbuilder students graduated in Albaola


Our school started in September 2017 with 3 students. Today it’s composed of 18 international students, 3 of them recently graduated as boatbuilders and 6 new students that start their adventures in Albaola right now.

The Basque Country has been well known for their boatbuilders, but in the last decades this trade nearly disappeared. The decline of wooden boatbuilding implied also the disappearance of traditional technologies, techniques, raw materials and other factors. However, in other countries of Europe with a more developed maritime culture, specific training in boatbuilding is offered. The Aprendiztegi school created by the Albaola association in Pasaia (Basque Country) it’s pioneer in training boatbuilders since 2017, educating professionals in this fascinating trade.

Aprendiztegi, the International School of Boatbuilding Lance Lee of Albaola, it’s based on a model developed by Lance Lee, a pioneer in traditional boatbuilding training in the United States. This model prioritizes training based in practice from day one, and the motivation of students is capital.

Since the beginnings of Albaola, our main goal is the recovery of traditional boatbuilding and its technology. Thanks to this innovative training, Albaola get’s one step further in its efforts to recover our maritime heritage and to make possible the transfer of boatbuilding knowledge. With our first students graduated as boatbuilders, we get a great landmark in our history.

Javier Vizcaya, Manuel Goethals and Rémi Fennebresque are the first professional boatbuilders officially graduated by Aprendiztegi. After three years of practical training and of taking part in many projects, they had acquired not only all the skills needed to build traditional boats by combining traditional and modern techniques, but above all the ability of preserving the traditional boatbuilder’s craft.

During these last years they had built and launch five boats, they had participated in the building of the whaleship San Juan and the patache Juanita Larando and many other jobs related to the maintenance of different boats. They have also learned to make and use tools for trades related to boatbuilding such as ropemaking or iron forging.

Xabier Agote, the president of Albaola, opened a graduation event addressed to the students, staff and some volunteers of Albaola. Rémi, Javier and Manuel spoke about their experience at the school, and all of them agreed: “The most important thing that we get from this experience is being a part of the great Albaola family”. They received their diploma certifying that they trained as professional boatbuilders and they toasted with a cider’s glass in the company of some of the people they met in this personal adventure.

At the same time when Javier, Manuel and Rémi graduated, six new students from Anglet, Girona, Madrid, Ireland and California start their training for three years with new projects to build in the Albaola Factory.

Would you like to learn with us?

All you need is: motivation and engagement. Applications are welcomed all year round:

In our school we value and reward talent. That’s why our program is free for everyone with a firm interest in becoming a professional boatbuilder and a passion about what we do and share in Albaola.

Do you like what you see?
Keeping this trade alive and our school running requires the help of all interested in maritime culture; we’re always looking for new sponsors willing to collaborate with us and to help Aprendiztegi in its struggle to train new boatbuilders.

Come to meet us! 

grado carpinteria de ribera albaola