Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


It has been said that wooden boats are a thing of the past. They are now a piece of art which is admired by most and owned by few. This research examines three areas of concern to the traditional wooden boatyard owner- the social demand for his services, the economics of purchase and operation and the ever-increasing legal regulations and requirements. The availability of new materials (i.e. fiberglass) and the tremendous marketing campaign that accompanied its arrival led to a major change in the construction of recreational boats beginning in the 1950's. However,with spiralling costs of petroleum, and thus its by-products, and also achange in attitude on the part of many in the United States, there has been some evidence of a shift back to boats with more traditional means of construction. It is for this reason that we are approaching a turning point for boatyard owners. Will there be a need for traditional boatyards and the skilled craftsmen of old-or, will these yards truly become antiquated and for lack of a marketplace be forced to close their doors?The research data for this thesis was collected in 1977/78. The economic and legal parameters were also evaluated as of 1977/78 and have not been updated.