OFO No: 684907

Other names for Boat Builder:

  • Boat Assembler
  • Boat Builder
  • Marine Plumber
  • Ship Builder
  • Ship Plater
  • Sparmaker
  • Yacht Builder


Youtube clip – All About Being a Boat Builder

For training options in South Africa – scroll down


What is a Boat Builder?

A Boat Builder is also known as a Shipwright. 

They construct sea-worthy floating vessels like boats and ships, which include, for example, yachts, sailboats, schooners, cruise liners etc.

They work in a shipyard.  Some Boat Builders may also design boats. 

Boat Builders may work in a factory where only a few designs of boats are built, while others work for a company that does custom-built work.  In rare cases, they are self-employed.

Most Boat Builders use wood, metal or fibreglass.

What does a Boat Builder do?

  • meets with clients and or design team to discuss requirements
  • works off boat designer’s plans
  • motivates the building team/staff
  • measures, makes and fits boat pieces together
  • constantly checks quality control and sea-worthiness
  • orders parts where necessary
  • designs boats when required
  • sells boats
  • markets and finds new customers
  • maintains office administration and bookkeeping

Are you … ?

  • interested in boats and boat building?
  • good with your hands?
  • a person who takes pride in their work?
  • able to read plans?
  • a person with basic mathematical skills?
  • can you read?
  • neat and tidy?
  • a team player?
  • meticulous?
  • a person who can work in 3-D?
  • a person who can cope with stress and deadlines?
  • knowledge of maths, physics and chemistry?

How do I become a Boat Builder?


Offers an accredited 6 months Laminating Training Program

  • FALSE BAY COLLEGE(Westlake Campus)

3 year – National Certificate in Small Craft Production, accredited with Merseta  

Minimum requirements:  Grade 9 or equivalent (NQF Level 10)


  • Apprenticeship
  • Trade Test


  • Learnership – Yatch and Boat Building Level 2, 3 and 4
  • Trade Test


  • Artisan Internship
  • Trade Test


  • RPL (Recognised Prior Learning) for Artisans: CLICK HERE
  • If you have already been working a long time as a Boatbuilder without qualifications, you may be able to get your qualification through RPL
  • Trade Test



  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Boat Skipper … or … 2nd Engineering Officer … or … Fitter and Turner

Is becoming a Boatbuilder the right career choice for me?