Welcome to Tacoma Boat Builders

Working with wood is an endeavor of hard work and creative interaction with something formed by its environment, it requires acute attention to discern what is required for it to take a new form. The same is true of working with youth. Our unique one-on-one mentorship programs are designed for marginalized and court-involved youth who need and deserve this kind of attention. Mentors and youth use boat building and other hands-on projects to create positive relationships, develop life skills, and gain new confidence. The experience often leads participants out of crisis and onto more intentional purposeful paths.

Woodworking and Boat Building are the means by which we connect with youth. The key to our success lies in the relationships formed between mentors and youth as they work together: Thinking creatively, sharing ideas, and solving challenges together as they come up.  The boat shop environment offers youth with a fresh start and invites them to a new perspective on what they are capable of achieving for themselves. Programs are designed to challenge assumptions about what’s possible by creating a space where ideas turn into tangible objects made with their own hands and efforts. 


Volunteer mentors are paired one-on-one with marginalized youth, sharing their talents, craft, and knowledge.


Since 2014, youth experienced hands-on learning through craftsmanship.


When you add it all up, in 2022, our amazing volunteers gave not just hours but days of time working with youth.


The people who flow in and out of Tacoma Boat Builders bring with them unique backgrounds, life experiences and most importantly — their stories.

What’s happening at TBB?